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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 14:05 GMT
Sarah accused's arrest 'unlawful'
Scene outside Lewes Crown Court
Documents relating to key forensic evidence arrive at court
A solicitor representing the man accused of murdering Sarah Payne protested that his second arrest was "unlawful", a court has heard.

Roy Whiting's solicitor, Gill McGivern, said his second arrest on 31 July last year was unlawful because detectives did not have any more evidence than they did when they first took him into custody.

Miss McGivern wrote in the police custody book: "Any questions hereafter against this background of unlawful detention would be oppressive."

Mr Whiting, 42, of Littlehampton, West Sussex, denies murdering Sarah, whose naked body was found in an isolated field close to the A29 at Pulborough, West Sussex on 17 July, 2000.

Sarah (right) with sister Charlotte
Sarah (right) with her sister Charlotte
Lewes Crown Court heard that Miss McGivern advised Mr Whiting to answer "no comment" to any questions when he was arrested for a second time.

She had later dropped her claim that the arrest was unlawful and in court the prosecution stressed she had been mistaken in her earlier stance.

Earlier the court heard evidence identifying clothes which allegedly linked the eight-year-old with Mr Whiting.

Shane Gething said a red sweatshirt, checked padded shirt and a clown patterned curtain were in a white Fiat Ducato van when his then employer sold it to Mr Whiting.

It is alleged that Mr Whiting bought the van six days before Sarah went missing.

Mr Gething was shown photographs of the sweatshirt, which the Crown maintains is a vital clue and damning evidence against Mr Whiting.

Single strand of hair

A single strand of the Sarah's blonde hair was found on the sweatshirt when it was examined by forensic experts, the court heard.

Mr Gething told the court he recognised the sweatshirt and the child's curtain which he said was used to pad the front seat of the van.

A fibre from the curtain was found on a shoe - which Sarah's mother has identified as belonging to her - which was found not far from where her body was dumped.

The trial continues.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"The prosecution's main forensic expert takes the stand tomorrow"
Full coverage of the trial

The verdict

Catching a murderer

Protecting children

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