Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak, a cunning and manipulative killer, was jailed for life after being found guilty Friday of murdering his next-door neighbour Jo Yeates after his sexual advances were rebuffed.
The parents of Yeates, whose body was found on Christmas Day last year, said they hoped he spent the rest of his life in a living hell, adding it was a matter of regret that he could not face the death penalty.
Yeates, a 25-year-old landscape architect, disappeared last December after returning to her Bristol home from a night out with friends. Her body was discovered by the side of a country lane around two miles from her flat, eight days after she had disappeared.
Bespectacled Tabak, 33, had dumped her body there after strangling her. He admitted manslaughter in May but denied her murder, saying he had not intended to kill her. He claimed he was trying to stop her screaming after he made a pass at her.
But a jury at Bristol Crown Court rejected his version of events and found him guilty of murder by a majority verdict, the Press Association reported.
The petite blonde Yeates suffered 43 injuries during a desperate fight for life as Tabak used his burly 6ft 4in frame to overpower her.
Yeates, who did not even know her killer's name, is believed to have been dead within about 20 seconds of Tabak grabbing her neck.
Mr Justice Field sentenced him to life in jail and said he must serve at least 20 years behind bars.
There is a sexual element to the killing of Joanna Yeates, said the judge, adding she had died in pain, beset with fear, struggling desperately for her life.
On your own evidence, after an acquaintanceship of only a few minutes, you moved to kiss Joanna and I am quite satisfied that you did not intend to stop there and intended to go much further.
It was only because of her loud and gestured screams that your sexual purpose was frustrated.
He said Tabak was very dangerous and thoroughly deceitful. He told Tabak he had committed a dreadful, evil act on a vulnerable young woman.
After the murder, Tabak sought to cover his tracks, maintaining a normal life with his girlfriend with whom he shared a flat in the same building as Yeates and her boyfriend.
He followed the police investigation on the internet to keep on step ahead of detectives and even tried to implicate landlord Christopher Jefferies who was arrested by police after becoming a suspect.
Vincent Tabak was a cunning, dishonest and manipulative man who knew exactly what he was doing when he killed Joanna Yeates, said Ann Reddrop, from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Tabak thought his cleverness and deceit would prevent him being convicted of a brutal murder. He was wrong.
Prosecutors were prevented from telling the jury that Tabak had become obsessed with violent sex and pornography. Videos recovered from his laptop depicted blonde women being throttled during sex.
Just two weeks before murdering the landscape architect he also paid for sex with a prostitute during a business trip to Los Angeles, police discovered.
Tabak looked down at his feet but showed no sign of emotion as the verdict was delivered. He immediately sat down and put his head in his hands.
We saw no emotion or remorse or regret for what he did to Jo. All we heard were words of self-pity. Yeates' parents David and Teresa, who attended much of the trial, said in a statement
For us, it is with regret that capital punishment is not a possible option.
The best we can hope for him is that he spends the rest of his life incarcerated where his life is a living hell, being the recipient of all evils, deprivations and degradations that his situation can provide.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)