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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Stagg wants to give DNA
Rachell Nickell
Rachell Nickell was stabbed repeatedly and sexually assaulted
The man cleared of murdering Rachel Nickell wants his DNA compared with a trace found on her clothes.

Colin Stagg, who was acquitted of the 1992 murder after police evidence was thrown out, says a comparison of the samples would clear his name.

Ms Nickell, a 23-year-old ex-model, was stabbed in front of her young son on Wimbledon Common, south-west London.

Her killer has never been caught, but a trace of DNA has reportedly now been found which could rule out suspects.

Battle to clear name

Newspaper reports at the weekend said the DNA sample was found when the Metropolitan Police reviewed several unsolved cases using modern scientific techniques.

The DNA is understood to be only a "partial sample", meaning it could not provide the identity of the killer, but could be sufficient to rule out potential suspects.

Colin Stagg
The only real reason I was arrested was that I had a passing resemblance to a photo-fit description of one of many men seen on the common
Colin Stagg
Mr Stagg was charged with the murder but cleared in 1994 after a police "honeytrap" operation to lure him into a confession was ruled inadmissable.

Mr Stagg told the BBC people still blamed him despite his acquittal, and he hoped the DNA development would stop them pointing the finger.

"I don't know how they do these things, but hopefully it will say that I had nothing to do with this crime whatsoever," he said.

"After all, the only real reason I was arrested was that I had a passing resemblance to a photo-fit description of one of many men seen on the common that morning."

Mr Stagg's former barrister, Jim Sturman, told the BBC he could understand why his ex-client was frustrated.

"He has done all he can do to clear his name. He has been found not guilty, he took a lie detector test that the News of the World asked him to do, and he passed it.

"Yet the story... of having found DNA, he now feels that he has to counter that."

Detectives have recently been investigating possible links between the killing of jogger Margaret Muller in February of this year, and Ms Nickell's murder.

Ms Muller, 27, was stabbed in the body and neck when she was jogging in Victoria Park, east London, on 3 February.


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