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Prostitute murders: Man in court

Story Highlights

• NEW: 48-year-old man charged with killing five prostitutes appears in court
Second suspect, aged 37, released on bail
• Five bodies were discovered in 10-day period near Ipswich, England
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IPSWICH, England (CNN) -- A 48-year-old man appeared in court in England on Friday to face charges that he murdered five prostitutes.

Steve Wright was remanded in custody to appear before Ipswich Crown Court on January 2.

The former forklift truck driver was driven to the court in Ipswich in a police van, which was escorted to the building by motorcycle escorts.

Dozens of photographers were gathered behind crowd control barriers, trying to get pictures of Wright, who is charged with the murders of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

He was charged on Thursday night after being arrested at his home near Ipswich's red light district on Tuesday morning.

A second suspect, identified locally as Tom Stephens, 37, was released on bail.

Wright was dressed in a dark blue suit, white shirt and blue striped tie for his court appearance. (Watch Wright stand before the judge Video)

The court clerk outlined the murder charges and told the magistrates that the killings were alleged to have taken place between various dates in early December.

She listed the names of the prostitutes and said Wright was accused of the murder of each one.

Wright stood to confirm his personal details but was told he could sit throughout the rest of the hearing.

Police arrested Wright at 5 a.m. Tuesday at his Ipswich home, said Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull.

Wright's arrest came a day after police arrested Stephens, also on suspicion of murdering the five women.

The bodies of five women were discovered outside Ipswich in Suffolk county in a period of 10 days.

A coroner has opened and adjourned inquests into the deaths. He appealed for anyone with information about the murders to contact the police.

Forensic officers and search teams have been searching homes of both suspects and police cordoned off part of a road where Wright lives.

The short time span of the murders is unprecedented in recent British history and threatened to overwhelm the small local police force in the early days of the inquiry.

Wright's solicitor, Paul Osler, told the UK's Press Association prior to the hearing: "He is bearing up well.

"Of course anybody accused of these sorts of offences is going to experience trauma, but he is bearing up well.

"I would remind everybody about the presumption of innocence."


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