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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Man rejects blood-stain evidence
court drawing of Philip John Smith
Philip John Smith denies murdering three women
Police tampered with evidence in the case against a man accused of killing three women in four days, a court has heard.

Philip John Smith, 36, made the claim after it was put to him that blood from two of his alleged victims was found on jeans discovered soaking in a bath.

Mr Smith, of Braithwaite Road, in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham, denies murdering Jodie Hyde, 21, Rosemary Corcoran, 25, and Carol Jordan, 39, between 8 and 12 November last year.

Blood on boots

Defence counsel Rachel Brand QC asked Mr Smith if he had formed any idea of how blood, said to come from Rosemary Corcoran and Carol Jordan, had been found on the jeans.

Mr Smith replied: "The police may have tampered with it or something like that."

Undated Police handout picture of murder victim Rosemary Corcoran, 25
Rosemary Corcoran: Killed in November 2000

He then gave the same explanation when asked why there was blood from Miss Corcoran and Ms Jordan on boots he was wearing the night they were murdered.

Leicester Crown Court heard a pair of size 10 women's trousers, which the prosecution claim belonged to Miss Corcoran, were also found soaking in the bath at Mr Smith's flat.

But Mr Smith claimed the trousers were among clothes he stole from outside an Oxfam charity shop in the middle of the night.

Burnt body

He told the court: "There are bags that are left outside shops that I pick up and take back to my flat at night time."

Rosemary Corcoran, from Castle Vale, Birmingham, was found near the Robin Hood pub in Droitwich, Worcestershire on 12 November.

Carol Jordan, from Balsall Heath, Birmingham, was found dead in Lee Bank, Birmingham, several hours later.

The burnt body of Miss Hyde, from Alum Rock, Birmingham, was found in parkland in Golden Hillock Road, Sparkbrook.

The trial continues.

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