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Court hears knife didn't have murder accused's DNA on it

James Connors
James Connors

A knife that was allegedly used to kill a man did not have the accused's DNA on it when examined by a forensic scientist, the Central Criminal Court heard today.

James Connors (29), of Rosemount, Drinagh, Co Wexford, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 27-year-old Jason Ryan at Hollyville Heights in Wexford Town on January 25, 2012.

Dr Stephen Clifford, a DNA expert at the State Forensic Science Laboratory, told prosecution counsel Gerard Clarke SC that he examined a knife and a baton that were found at the scene.

He said they were given to him by gardai from Wexford Garda Station along with DNA swabs from Mr Connors and Mr Ryan.

Dr Clifford said the knife contained DNA which matched Mr Ryan's DNA. Two other samples were found but they did not match Mr Connors's DNA.

Speaking to Defence counsel Michael Delaney SC, Dr Clifford agreed that the longer a person holds on to an item, the more likely they are to transfer their DNA to that item.

Dr Clifford also examined samples from the baton found at the scene. He said he took blood samples from the handle and middle of the baton that matched Mr Ryan's DNA.

He agreed with Mr Delaney that this blood could have come from Mr Ryan's hands after he touched his wounds.

He said he detected two other DNA profiles on the baton but these were incomplete and therefore he was not able to make any judgement as to who they belonged to. He said none of the DNA found on the baton matched Mr Connors's DNA.

Justice Margaret Heneghan told the jury that there will be no more evidence given in the trial and the prosecution will begin its summary tomorrow.