Christopher Jefferies to deliver public lecture

Published: 13 March 2014 at 12:09

Man wrongly arrested for Joanna Yeates murder to discuss ‘Police and the Press’

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Christopher Jefferies, the man wrongly arrested for the murder of landscape architect Joanna Yeates in 2010, will talk about his experience during a public lecture at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge on Tuesday, 25 March.

In a talk entitled “Police and the Press: Too Close for Comfort?” Jefferies will discuss how he went from being the victim’s landlord to the suspect for her murder. 

The former teacher was vilified by parts of the British press, with references such as “Angry ‘weirdo’ had foul temper”,strange Mr Jefferies” and “Jo suspect is Peeping Tom” appearing  during the period he spent in custody.

Almost a month after Yeates’ body was discovered on the outskirts of Bristol another neighbour, Vincent Tabak, was arrested, and was found guilty of her murder in October 2011.

Jefferies successfully sued a number of national newspapers for damages and received an unprecedented letter of exoneration from the Avon and Somerset Police Force.

In this exclusive lecture, Jefferies will argue how the ‘cosy’ relationship between the police and the press, which was documented by the Leveson Inquiry, creates the potential for miscarriages of justice.

In a statement he gave to the Leveson Inquiry in 2011, Jefferies said:

“The national media shamelessly vilified me.  The UK press set about what can only be described as a witch hunt.
“It was clear that the tabloid press had decided that I was guilty of Miss Yeates’s murder and seemed determined to persuade the public of my guilt.
“They embarked on a frenzied campaign to blacken my character by publishing a series of very serious allegations about me which were completely untrue.”

Jefferies’ talk will take place at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus on Tuesday, 25 March at 3pm.  The event, organised by Anglia Ruskin’s Criminology department, is free for the public to attend but places are limited. Please register at http://policeandthepress.eventbrite.co.uk