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Hair DNA Test Results Used As Evidence in Murder Trial

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The victim’s body was found, partially clothed, wrapped tightly in bin bags and also covered in a duvet. It was located in a car park in Ireland and she was killed in September 2006. The defendent, 51, denies being guilty of the murder in 2006 between the 17th and 20th of September.

A post mortem of the victim’s body revealed that she had been strangled to death, but had also been beaten across the face. At the trial a jury was told that the case had initially been based on circumstantial evidence, with the defendent’s fingerprints found on the black bin bags that bound her body. The jury at Antrim Crown Court were also told that carpet fibres and paint from the defendent’s flat were found on the materials around the body.

Richard Weir, the QC for the case said that the defendent had told him that an ex-lover of his was framing him for the death. He also described the victim’s background as unhappy stressing that she had spent much of her time growing up in foster care.

Finding the Body

The body was first noticed by a man who saw the unusual, rolled up duvet in Hill Street Car Park, Ballymena. The following afternoon he told his boss at work about the sighting and his boss then telephoned the police who went to the scene to investigate. The police discovered that it contained the body of a then unknown woman. Beside the body there was also a red top, grey fleece coat and a pink towel. Nearby police also found a discarded grey jacket.

On further inspection of the defendent’s flat, fibres from the towel matched fibres found on the accused man’s carpet. Additionally, paint samples from within the flat matched samples found on the duvet which the body was wrapped in.

Hair DNA Test

It was a hair DNA test which provided solid evidence to the case, however, and several strands of dyed hair were found on the defendent’s carpet, which when tested were positively identified as belonging to the victim. This is not the first time hair DNA tests have been used to place the victim at the scene of their potential murder and will unlikely be the last.

Due to the fact that the accused spoke little or no English and was a Polish immigrant the trial was expected to take slightly longer than usual before it reached its conclusion. Some reports also gave insight in to the lifestyle of the alleged killer, describing him as non-English speaking and a worker in a meat processing factory. He was also allegedly accused of indecent assault, rape and threatening to kill another young woman.

The accused denied all four charges, however. According to a BBC news report in 2005 he was also an alleged con-man who victimised fellow Poles by taking money from them under the promise of jobs which were never eventually offered. Therefore, it’s understood that the murder case was far from his first brush with the Irish police.

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