Jo Yeates landlord no longer suspect

Chris Jefferies The landlord of Jo Yeates the young woman from Bristol who was murdered late last year has been released from police bail and is no longer being treated as a suspect.

Mr. Yeates owned the flat which Ms. Yeates and her partner lived in. He was initially arrested a number of days following Ms. Yeates’ murder.

Following that arrest Mr. Jefferies became the target of frenzied media speculation. He was heavily involved in his local neighbourhood watch and was a retired teacher at a public school. The BBC news web site left it at that, apart from describing him as eccentric and having odd hair.

The tabloid press, however, had much more fun with then innocent and now very clearly innocent and unrelated to the crime Mr. Jefferies: there was speculation on his sexuality, multiple articles covered his supposedly strange behaviour as a teacher. Essentially it seemed to be a case of: he was a somewhat odd looking elderly bachelor; he must be a pervert. There is a nice summary of the ill-conceived attacks on him here. It also includes the Liberal Democrat local leadership very rapidly distancing themselves from Mr. Jefferies (Jefferies is a leading member of the party). It will be most interesting to see if the tabloid press now run articles explaining what a law abiding, upright decent and completely innocent man Mr. Jefferies has turned out to be. The Liberal Democrats might owe him an apology as well.

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  • juggernaut

    The police have a duty to interview and suspect anyone with any connection to a crime but sometimes it does seem as though they make a perfectly innocent person a victim.

    I hope Mr Jefferies can claim compensation, not from the police but from the tabloids who did it not to assist enquiries but to sell extra copies of their newspaper/magazines.

  • thethoughtfulone

    I hope the “eccentric” Mr Jefferies and his “odd hair” can become sufficiently modern and up to date for long enough to instruct his legal representatives to sue the backside off the gutter press for their usual flailling of all and sundry at any excuse for no other reason than profit.

    As for the Lib Dems, well you don’t really expect anything else from a modern day political party,…………………except maybe the DUP or Sinn Fein!

  • A lesson to be learned: Seamus Heaney (jpg) and I will need to spend more time with our barbers.

  • JAH

    This is pretty old news.

    Mr J quickly employed lawyers to start libel proceedings and I’d expect he’ll make enough to escape the flat and more. Expect large sttlements and grovelling apologies.

    However, not a nice way to find out who your real friends are, although its interesting that a lot stuck by him knowing the nonsense for what it was.

  • andnowwhat

    Thank you for posting this Turgon.

    I have no idea why but something in my gut told me straight away that Mr Jeffries was innocent.

    I forget the exact details but it was something like, the police claimes that Mr Jeffries told the police that he had saw Ms. Yates with 2 men on the evening. He went to the press and said that the statement was wrong.

    Next thing you know, he got lifted.

    I like people like Mr Jeffries. I like eccentrics. What I despise is the modern suspicion of the independantly minded.

    Hope he cleans up big time.

  • PaddyReilly

    Just a repetition here of the Press lies.

    Chris Jeffries said he remembered seeing 3 people coming from Joanna Yeates’ flat. The press elaborated this to “Joanna Yeates and two men.” When he pointed out that this was not what he said, which was much, much vaguer, they accused him of changing his story.

    The man was obviously innocent from the start. 65 is a very odd age to start on a career of strangler. Very few murderers of this sort are members of the Book of Common Prayer Society. The Liberal Democrats and the Neighbourhood Watch.

    I imagine he came over a bit pompous, being used to receiving some sort of deference from younger males, and they responded with “We can do anything we like, sunshine.”

  • Niall

    Not just the RUC/PSNI that get things completely wrong then, its endemic across all Peelers regardless of nationality.

    At least this was resolved before the CPS stepped in and probably, secured a conviction against an innocent man. There would have been no chance of having even a single juror not at least aware of some of the allegations fed to the gutter press via the Police press office.

  • Turgon

    I agree, well done for reminding us about the unjust fate of this poor man.

  • andnowwhat

    There was a time in a land not far away where being a teacher was a position of respect. Hell, I remember some of my primary school teachers during the 60’s/70’s. Really professional but somewhat arrogant too but I never object to arrogance so long as it is backed up.

    Now, imagine the attitude of Mr Jefferies confronted by policemen who could not even relate his statement to the public/press correctly. I am pretty sure that those of my generation and older can well imagine.

    Niall, cops are cops.

  • andnowwhat

    Forgot to say…thank you Turgon for introducing me to Anorak. I liked the site a lot

  • The police in question have a very poor record of solving serious crime. The meida AND the Internet went into overdrive on Mr Jefferies.Oddball= legitimate target.
    If any of us were dissected the same way, we would end up behind bars too.
    The Irish media are just as bad.
    His arrest should not have been mentioned except to say “a 65 yo man is helping police with their enquiries. The media made all kinds of unfounded allegations against him to stitch him up, little caring whether he was innocent or not.
    The Sindo, for one, plays the same game.