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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
No evidence from Russell accused
Michael Stone
Mr Stone denies "partially confessing to the killings"
The man accused of murdering Lin and Megan Russell in a quiet Kent country lane has chosen not to give evidence in his trial.

At the conclusion of the prosecution case, William Clegg QC, for Michael Stone, told Nottingham Crown Court that the defence would not be calling any witnesses.

The judge, Mr Justice Poole, then told the jury he expected them to be sent to consider their verdicts on Tuesday or Wednesday, next week.

Mr Stone, 41, formerly of Skinner Street, Gillingham, Kent, denies murdering Mrs Russell, 45, her daughter Megan, six, and attempting to murder Josie Russell,

Lin and Megan Russell
Lin and Megan Russell
Earlier on Tuesday, the trial was told that Mr Stone had been unable to give police an alibi for where he was when Lin, Megan and Josie Russell were attacked.

Mr Stone confirmed he had been in Chatham, Kent, near the scene where they died, on the morning of 9 July, 1996.

However, he was unable to account for his movements in the afternoon.

In police interviews, conducted after his arrest in July 1997, Mr Stone, 41, dismissed evidence he arrived at a friend's house wearing a bloodstained t-shirt.

Police interviews

Extracts from a series of interviews with Kent detectives were read out.

The court heard Mr Stone had dismissed evidence from a friend, Sheree Batt, that he arrived at her house in Chatham wearing a bloodstained t-shirt.

He said: "She is lying. I never had any blood on my t-shirt. We are not on the best of terms."

Mr Stone was then asked about the evidence of Damian Daley, who told the court that an inmate in the next cell, said to be the defendant, told him he committed the murders.

He said: "I didn't talk to the inmate in Canterbury prison. When I went to Canterbury they were shouting 'come out to your window'.

"And they said 'the best thing you can do is hang yourself' and they told me how to do it."

Fingerprint evidence

The court heard Mr Stone claimed he threw away the clothes he owned at the time of the deaths because he had put on weight.

The jury was shown photographs of the girls' lunchboxes, which were bloodstained, and one which revealed two fingerprints.

Expert Michael Pass told the court that one print was unable to throw up any clues while the second was also of "bad quality".

The only conclusion he had reached was that the person whose print it was had a "loop pattern".

Mr Pass said Lin Russell had the same, common, pattern, but that Stone's was different.

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