Bristol

Jo Yeates' parents wanted death penalty for Tabak

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Media captionJo Yeates' family: "For us it is with regret that capital punishment is not an option for his sentence"

The parents of Jo Yeates said they wish their daughter's killer could have been given the death penalty.

In a statement read outside court by police on their behalf, David and Theresa Yeates said they hoped Vincent Tabak's life would be "a living hell".

On Friday, Dutch engineer Tabak, 33, was found guilty of murdering Miss Yeates in her Bristol flat on 17 December last year.

The 25-year-old landscape architect was strangled by her neighbour.

Tabak was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Mr and Mrs Yeates said: "For us it is with regret that capital punishment is not a possible option for his sentence.

"The best we can hope for him is that he spends the rest of his life incarcerated where his life is a living hell."

'Self-pity'

The trial had been "more stressful and intense than we ever imagined", the couple said.

"There was never any doubt in our minds that Jo had been murdered and we fully expected [Tabak] to lie when he went into the witness box," their statement added.

"We came here with little hope or expectation of hearing what happened on 17 December but needed to see him and hear what he had to say first hand.

"We saw no emotion or remorse or regret for what he did to Jo. We felt all emotion expressed by him was false. All we heard were words of self-pity."

They described the trial as having had "little effect on our lives".

Mr and Mrs Yeates said: "We have still lost our daughter and our son has lost his sister.

"Our main sorrow is that Jo isn't allowed to start her own family, have children and achieve her potential.

"We will never get over our loss, how she was murdered and the total lack of respect with which her body was treated.

Image caption David and Teresa Yeates said the trial had been "more stressful and intense than we ever imagined"

"We so miss hearing her happy voice and seeing her living life to the full."

Miss Yeates's parents thanked people for letters and cards they had received, and for the physical tributes that have been made in commemoration of Miss Yeates which they said "touched us to the core".

In other reaction to the verdict, Ann Reddrop from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), described Tabak as a "cunning, dishonest and manipulative man who knew exactly what he was doing when he killed Joanna Yeates".

She added: "Although Tabak admitted the manslaughter of Miss Yeates... the Crown's case is that it is and always has been a deliberate act on his part and that's why we refused to accept his plea of manslaughter."

Det Ch Insp Phil Jones said Tabak was an "intelligent and manipulative" man,

"As Joanna's family suffered... Vincent Tabak carried on as normal, convincing others that he had little or no knowledge of Joanna, her disappearance nor her death."