Joanna's body released to family


The family of Joanna Yeates can begin to plan her funeral after her body was released

The family of Joanna Yeates can begin to plan her funeral after her body was released, it has emerged.

A post-mortem examination was carried out last week on behalf of murder accused Vincent Tabak by a pathologist, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Michael Fitton QC, representing Tabak, told the preliminary hearing that Dr Nat Carey conducted the examination last Wednesday.

“With his consent we have consented to the release of the body of the deceased,” Mr Fitton told the court.

Tabak, who appeared in court via videolink from HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, spoke only briefly during the 15 minute hearing.

A provisional trial date was fixed for October 4 and a plea and case management hearing will take place on May 4. Members of the public and journalists filled the gallery of Courtroom 9.

Tabak, 32, appeared on TV screens in court, sitting behind a table with his hands together to listen to the proceedings. Wearing glasses, a red jumper and dark trousers, the Dutch engineer spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear the proceedings clearly.

Mr Justice Treacy, prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC, and Mr Fitton agreed the timetable for the trial.

At the conclusion of Monday’s proceedings, the judge told Tabak: “Your next appearance in court will be on May 4 by which time the case papers will have been served and you will see in detail what the allegations are against you. There will be a hearing to make the final arrangements for a trial which we expect to take place in October.”

No bail application was made and Tabak – Miss Yeates’s next-door neighbour – was remanded into custody.

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