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.