Tuesday, December 15, 1998 Published at 23:47 GMT
Ear print catches murderer
Dorothy Wood (centre) was suffocated with a pillow during a burglary
A man has been convicted of murdering an elderly spinster on the basis of "earprint" evidence, in what is believed to be a legal first.
Dorothy Wood, who was frail and profoundly deaf, was smothered with a pillow at her home in Fartown, Huddersfield in May 1996.
Detectives believe Dallagher put his ear to Mrs Wood's window to listen for signs of anyone in the house.
'Great step forward'
Norman Sarsfield, of Wakefield Crown Prosecution Service, said the verdict was "a great step forward for forensic evidence".
"In planning to use the ear-print evidence we sought the advice of experts in order to prove that it could not have belonged to anyone else."
Dallagher, who denied murder, was jailed for life at Leeds Crown Court.
Afterwards his sister, who declined to give her name, insisted he was innocent and said she planned to appeal.