In the Media

Joanna Yeates's father says Vincent Tabak jailing has not brought closure

PUBLISHED November 1, 2011

David Yeates admits family still struggling to come to terms with murder of 25-year-old landscape architect Joanna Yeates's father has said the jailing of her murderer, Vincent Tabak, had not brought closure for his family. Tabak was jailed for a minimum of 20 years last week for killing the landscape architect in December. "We are still in shock to a certain extent as to what happened," David Yeates said. "We've had a sort of two strands to our lives. One is the soap opera with the media, the police and all the things to do with Jo's death, and the other one is our normal life and it has been very, very difficult. "Jo's death has had an enormous impact, not just on my immediate family ? my son and my wife ? but also for extended family, Jo's cousins and uncles and aunts etc. She was a lovely girl and she had a very bubbly personality. It's had an enormous impact and it's been very difficult for my family to come to terms with that we are not going to see her again. It has been very, very difficult and it's continuing really." He said the trial had not brought closure, "just the end of the administrative part of Jo's death". "Our lives go on and we still have to deal with the fact that Jo is no longer around," he added. During the interview with BBC South, Yeates said Joanna, who was murdered eight days before Christmas and whose body was found on Christmas morning, adored the festive period. "She loved Christmas ? that was her best time of the year. She loved playing games, cards and being competitive. She enjoyed the whole razzmatazz to do with Christmas. That's why being found on Christmas Day was so poignant. In my mind she was a terrific daughter, but all fathers would say that." Yeates, who was speaking from his home in Ampfield, Hampshire, said the four-week trial at Bristol crown court had been very stressful for his family. "We had never had been to a crown court before," he said. "We didn't expect the trial to take the turns that it did. When Tabak's sexual bits came out and the potential impact, it was quite a shock. "The other thing was the number of injuries on Jo. Although none were individually serious they indicated an extended and significant struggle that she had with Tabak before she was eventually murdered. That was a tremendous shock for us." Yeates, an IT consultant, explained that his call for the Dutch engineer to face the death penalty was not a reaction to his daughter's murder. "I have felt that way for a long time," he said. "I think for extreme cases of murdering and killing capital punishment is right. I'm not saying this comes under that category. I would have been happier if it was an option." He said he and his family had been overwhelmed by support from the public and they had received more than 300 cards and letters after his daughter's body was discovered on a snowy lane in Failand, near Bristol. "I never realised that Jo had such an impact on other people and that really gives me an enormous amount of pride," he said. "She died when she was 25 and it would have been interesting to see what she might have achieved if she had lived another 25 years." Joanna Yeates Crime Steven Morris © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds