A man accused of murdering five prostitutes told a court on Friday it was just a coincidence that each woman was killed shortly after having sex with him.

In his second day of testimony, Steve Wright insisted to jurors at Ipswich Crown Court that he had nothing to do with their deaths.

This was despite similarities between the killings and the night shift pattern of Wright's partner Pamela -- who did not know about his trysts.

In one two-week period when she was not working nights prosecutors claim the "prostitutes of Ipswich were not subjected to any campaign by a random psychopath".

The court has heard that in the three months before his December 19 arrest, Wright had sex with a dozen prostitutes from the area, including the five he is accused of killing.

He has admitted to the jury having sex on the night one went missing and shortly before another two disappeared.

Under a barrage of prosecution questions on Friday, the 49-year-old claimed it was a coincidence that he had picked up the five women he is accused of killing in the order they died.

Wright, the son of a RAF policeman, also denied he was seeking "something more than just sexual gratification" and then decided to escalate to murder.

Wright, of Ipswich, denies killing Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, whose naked bodies were found dumped at rural locations around the town within the space of just 10 days.

Two victims were found with their bodies deliberately posed in a cruciform shape with their arms outstretched.

He struck after cruising the red light district near his home for suitable victims while his partner was working night shifts and might have had an accomplice, the court has heard.

The victims, selected systematically, died while fighting for breath, asphyxiated while under the influence of hard drugs, prosecutors allege.

Bloodstains were found on Wright's jacket at his home which experts say had a one-in-a-billion chance of not coming from the murdered prostitutes.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Peter Wright told him: "The fact is you murdered each of these women.

"You solicited five women from the streets of Ipswich, amongst others, and each of them are dead. Is that a coincidence?"

Wright replied: "I would say it was a coincidence."

The prosecutor further asked: "You solicited five girls from the streets of Ipswich in the order in which they died. Is that a coincidence?" Wright replied: "It seems so, yes".

Wright then agreed with the prosecution that he had been "singularly unfortunate".

Earlier Wright, who was convicted of theft in 2003 and who has also been declared bankrupt, denied knowing about the prostitutes' deaths because he didn't read the press.

He has previously testified that he started using prostitutes at the age of 25 when he was in the merchant navy after earlier working on the liner QE2 as a steward.

Court told prostitute deaths "coincidence"
By Andrew Hough Reuters - Friday, February 8 03:47 pm