Bloodstain on jacket links it to Lawrence crime scene, court told

A tiny bloodstain found on the jacket of a man accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence could have come from the knife pulled from the teenager's body during the fatal attack by a racist gang, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

The stain on the jacket's collar, discovered 15 years after the killing, most likely happened within minutes of the attack while the blood was still wet, said the forensic scientist Edward Jarman.

The jacket was found by police in a wardrobe at the home of Gary Dobson, 36, some two weeks after the murder. Mr Dobson and his co-defendant, David Norris, 35, both deny killing Mr Lawrence, 18, in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993. The court has heard he was "swallowed up" by a gang of about five white youths as he waited for a bus.

Previous analysis of the jacket failed to show any of Mr Lawrence's blood until a cold case review team painstakingly scoured the jacket for signs in 2008, the court was told. The bloodstain – measuring just 0.5mm by 0.25mm – was found soaked into the collar. The prosecution told the jury there was a one-in-a-billion chance that the blood did not come from Stephen Lawrence.

Mr Jarman told the court that the amount of blood at the murder scene was likely to be small and could have got on to the jacket after spots flew through the air during the attack. Mr Lawrence was wearing several layers of clothing and the attack was over in seconds, according to witnesses.

"There was a potential that the blood could be transferred by the weapon itself when removed from the victim or [be] the actual blood from the injury itself," Mr Jarman told the court. He said the blood was likely to have been in contact with the coat "a very short time after the incident" and said such a small stain would have taken only a couple of minutes to dry.

The defence has claimed that evidence of the teenager's blood on the jacket is a result of contamination after poor handling and storage.

Mr Jarman said yesterday that if someone had not been wearing the jacket at the scene, the blood would have had to have been transferred shortly afterwards. He told the court that a thin layer of blood on someone's hand would probably dry within about 30 minutes.

When asked by prosecution counsel Mark Ellison QC about the likelihood of Mr Lawrence's blood being on it if it had remained indoors on the night of the killing, Mr Jarman said: "If the jacket had remained in the wardrobe I can't envisage a plausible explanation for the presence of that stain in the collar."

The court heard that the jacket was first examined by a team at LGC Forensics in October 2007. As part of initial examinations, it was scoured for traces of blood and then sprayed with water as part of a test for saliva samples. The jacket was only re-examined after three fragments of blood with a full DNA match to Stephen Lawrence were found in the folds of the bag in which it was originally held.

Other DNA tests showed that the jacket had been worn by Mr Dobson at some point in the past, Mr Jarman told the court. Testing for blood carried out on a cardigan seized from Mr Dobson's house, and jeans, a sweatshirt and another cardigan taken from Mr Norris's home were inconclusive.

The trial continues.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn