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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 13:01 GMT
Juice bottle DNA nails burglar
dna
Criminals can be traced through a DNA database
A Devon burglar left a juicy piece of evidence at the scene of the crime - an orange drink bottle.

Devon and Cornwall Police traced DNA from saliva on the bottle to Jamie Berry.

Berry, 22, of Exeter, was jailed for two and a half years on Friday after admitting four burglaries.

The sample of saliva was taken from the neck of the plastic bottle which he left at the house in Exeter, where he stole cash, jewellery and compact discs.


DNA Fingerprinting

  • DNA in cells determine individual characteristics
  • Samples taken from skin, blood, hair, saliva
  • Analysis developed in 1984 by Alec Jeffreys of Leicester University
  • National DNA database opened in Birmingham in 1995


  • Berry denied raiding the home in Pinhoe, Exeter, until he was confronted with the results of the DNA test and he then admitted a string of crimes. Berry admitted four burglaries and asked for seven offences to be considered.

    The court heard that Berry's crime spree was temporarily halted when a fast-thinking farmer's wife at Denbury, near Newton Abbot, South Devon, realised he and two friends were trying to break in and shut her outside gate to trap their car.

    Police found the proceeds of a previous burglary in the boot and Berry later admitted stealing almost 10,000 of goods from another farm near Exeter.

    While on bail, Berry broke into a house in Pinhoe and left behind the Somerfield Whole Orange bottle which led to him being traced.

    Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said Berry told police he committed two of the burglaries after celebrating his birthday by taking amphetamines, ecstasy and cannabis.

    Nick Bradley, defending, said Berry had written to each of his victims to apologise.


    Click here to go to Devon
    See also:

    04 Nov 02 | Wales
    04 Nov 02 | Wales
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