Stephen Lawrence jacket stain 'made by fresh blood'

 

A bloodstain found on a jacket belonging to one of the men accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence was caused when the blood was fresh, the Old Bailey heard today.

The tiny stain, measuring 0.5mm by 0.25mm, was discovered on the collar of a jacket belonging to Gary Dobson by a cold case team.

Defence counsel argue that it was caused when an old, dried blood flake got on to the jacket via contamination and was dissolved during tests for saliva.

But today forensic scientist Edward Jarman told a jury at the Old Bailey that his experiments suggested the stain was made by fresh blood.

He said that old fragments of Mr Lawrence's blood became "gel-like" during saliva testing and therefore would not soak into fabric.

Mr Jarman explained: "When these gel fragments were left to dry they became adhered to the fabric so when you touched them they stuck securely to it, but they had not absorbed into the fabric."

When he repeated the test using flakes made from fresh blood, they dissolved and caused a stain.

Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, are accused of being involved in the gang attack that killed Mr Lawrence in Eltham, south east London, in April 1993, which they deny.

Mr Jarman was part of a team at a company called LGC asked to help in a cold case review of Mr Lawrence's murder.

Earlier, the jury was told that he made key findings when he used sticky tape to gather debris from the original police evidence bag used to hold Dobson's jacket.

Three fragments of blood were discovered, which had a chance of less than one in a billion of not being Mr Lawrence's blood.

He also found a fragment of blood that encased three textile fibres, which, he told the court, meant the blood was wet when it came into contact with them.

Scientists could not get a full profile from this for DNA testing, but from a partial profile found it had a probability of less than one in a billion of not belonging to Mr Lawrence.

Mr Jarman tested flakes both from Mr Lawrence's clothing and from the evidence bag.

When they became "gel-like" after saliva testing they did not give out any fluid or material that could have caused staining, he said.

In a conclusion after his testing, he said: "I've seen nothing to suggest that the wetting of the item during Phadebas (saliva) testing resulted in loose fragments of blood producing the stain on the collar."

But he admitted this could not be entirely excluded as there may have been undiscovered flakes that behaved differently.

Mr Jarman said variation in the colour of the blood stain could suggest the blood was partially dried at the time the mark was caused, but it was so small it was hard to draw conclusions.

He explained that the LGC team worked on the premise that only a small amount of blood would have been available to be transferred on to clothing during the attack.

Drops could have flown through the air, or been passed on if the knife touched someone's clothing, he told the court.

Mr Jarman said a stain of the size found on Dobson's jacket would only have taken "a couple of minutes" to dry.

If the blood had been passed on to the jacket indirectly, he said: "The transfer would have had to have occurred very shortly after the incident given the sort of quantities of blood that are likely to have been available during the assault."

Mr Jarman said that any blood transfer process that involved multiple steps was unlikely.

He said: "The collar stain was more likely to be the result of primary route transfer than other more complex routes."

Blood flakes found in the jacket's evidence bag could have dried and broken off the stain on the collar, the jury was told, or other stains which had been on the jacket but left no trace.

Testing for blood carried out on a cardigan seized from Dobson's house, and jeans, a sweatshirt and another cardigan taken from Norris's home were inconclusive.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam