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Last Updated: Monday, 16 February, 2004, 15:37 GMT
Fibre link in serial rapist case
Prison truck
Antoni Imiela is being tried at Maidstone Crown Court
Fibres found on the clothing of a suspected rapist were the same as those found on the clothes of all but one of his alleged victims, a court has heard.

Antoni Imiela, 49, of Appledore, Kent, denies nine counts of rape in Surrey, west London, Kent and Hertfordshire, and one of kidnap and indecent assault.

Three cases showed "very strong" support that the fibres had transferred from Mr Imiela, a forensic expert said.

They matched items found in his home, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Curtain clue

Forensic scientist Susan Cheshire said 112 fibres found on the jumper, top and underwear of a 10-year-old girl allegedly abducted and assaulted in Birmingham matched "extraneous" fibres found on Mr Imiela's clothing.

They included several fibres which matched curtains seized from the suspect's home and material in one of the jackets he wore to work.

Miss Cheshire said: "In my opinion there's extremely strong support for the assertion that the 112 fibres found on (the girl's) clothing were transferred by Antoni Imiela's clothing rather than fibres coming from other sources and matching by chance."

The court heard pink nylon fibres the same as those in the curtains were also found on the clothes of alleged victims aged 52 and 14.

Attacks denied

Tests on garments worn by five other alleged victims lent "moderately strong" or "moderate" support to the suggestion that fibres had been transferred from Mr Imiela's clothing.

The case of an 18-year-old woman attacked in Woking was the only one in which no match was found to fibres on Mr Imiela's clothes, Miss Cheshire said.

Mr Imiela's wife, Christine, was recalled briefly as a witness to give evidence about police searches at the couple's Kent home last year.

Mr Imiela denies committing the attacks which allegedly took place between November 2001 and November 2002.

He also denies the kidnap and indecent assault of a girl in Birmingham.

The trial continues.

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