Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008

Fingerprint expert heads for USA

The technique can only be used to find fingerprints on metal surfaces

The scientist behind groundbreaking forensic techniques to find fingerprints on bullets is to address a key conference in the USA.

Dr John Bond, a scientific support manager at Northamptonshire Police, has been invited to give a presentation at the University of Tennessee.

It will be part of a symposium organised by the National Forensic Academy in the US.

The Leicester University research fellow Dr Bond said he felt honoured.

His technique of "fingerprint visualising" detects where sweat has corroded metal on bullets, even where a print has been wiped off.

Dr Bond's help has already been enlisted for a number of unsolved cases.

Top invention

Recently he was visited by a Texan detective for help with a murder case on America's Most Wanted list.

The new technique was hoped to make a vital breakthrough in the as-yet unsolved doorstep shooting of Marianne Wilkinson in a Texas suburb.

Dr Bond's state-of-the-art technique, which could also be used on bombs, has also been named by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 inventions of 2008.

Dr Bond said: "I feel really honoured to be asked to do this.

"It must be really unusual for someone from a British Police Force to be asked to go to America to share information with them.

"The work we have been doing over here in England has generated a lot of interest in America so they want me to go over and show them what it is all about."

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