Ipswich Murders - Mother tells of daughters double life

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Ipswich Murders - Mother tells of daughters double life

Postby bjr » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:40 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... ich422.xml

Ipswich mother tells of daughter's 'double life'
By Nick Allen
Last Updated: 7:40pm GMT 22/01/2008

The mother of a prostitute murdered by the "Suffolk strangler" told a jury how her daughter had lived a double life as a vice girl to pay for her heroin habit.

Ipswich mother unaware her daughter sold sex
Kerry Nicol's voice cracked with emotion as she described how she only discovered her daughter Tania was selling sex on the streets of Ipswich after her death.

Tania Nicol, 19, was selling sex to pay for her heroin habit
Miss Nicol, 19, was the youngest of five prostitutes who former forklift Steve Wright is accused of murdering over a six week period at the end of 2006.

The others were Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

Wright denies all the charges.

Gemma Adams' mother Gail also told Ipswich Crown Court she had no idea her daughter was a prostitute.

Clutching a handkerchief behind her back and sitting only yards away from the defendant, Mrs Adams said her daughter was living separately from her family and they had not talked to her for months before she died.

Ms Nicol, a care home assistant, gave evidence from behind a screen.

Her voice wavered as she was shown CCTV images of her daughter walking down a street on the night she vanished.

advertisement"It's her," she said. She also told the court she had received three phone calls from a stranger called Tom Stephens following her daughter's disappearance.

In the first, the day after she went missing, he had seemed "confused" when Ms Nicol told him she thought her daughter was still in bed.

Another conversation lasted 45 minutes and he urged her to call the police to report her daughter missing.

In one conversation Mr Stephens asked her "Would the girls still go out and do what they do if one of them had got murdered?"

Ms Nicol said she had found the question "strange".

Mr Stephens told Ms Nicol her daughter had been taking up to £50 worth of heroin a day and had been planning to move away to live with drug dealers, the court heard.

Another witness Alison Fenning, a charity worker who helps prostitutes in Ipswich's red light district, said she had seen Mr Stephens in the red light district on Dec 8, 2006, during the time of the murders.

He was advising prostitutes to use a protection technique called "goose neck thumb bar" and she had assumed he was an undercover police officer.

Ms Nicol said her daughter had been living at home for a year before she died.

She thought her daughter was working in a hairdressing salon and in a pub. On one occasion a massage parlour called Cleopatra's rang the family home looking for a girl called Chantelle.

Ms Nicol also found a letter in her daughter's room which was from a man and addressed to Chantelle.

Miss Nicol had done well at school until she left home at 16 and went to live in a hostel, the court heard.

She later confessed to her mother that she had used heroin at the hostel.

Her mother found syringes in her bedroom early in 2006 but Miss Nicol claimed they belonged to a friend.

Ms Nicol said: "I challenged her but she was adamant.

"She had quite bad skin, spotty skin and she was a bit thin."

Pc Janet Humphrey told the court the five dead prostitutes had been selling sex on the streets of Ipswich for £30.

They were part of a core of between 15 and 20 women who worked regularly in the town.

Another 30 to 50 worked there occasionally near Ipswich Town's Portman Road soccer ground.

The court heard from three of Miss Adams' clients who were only identified as A, B and C.

She had been working at Cleopatra's massage parlour but had moved on to the streets where she charged as little as £10 to have sex.

Mr B, who met Miss Adams on the streets, said: "I decided Gemma was different from the other girls on the street.

"She was by far the nicest."
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