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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 17:47 GMT
Fibres 'link accused to victims'
The victims, clockwise from top, Annette Nicholls, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, Gemma Adams and Tania Nicol
Fibres linked Steve Wright to the five women, jurors heard.
Material found on items belonging to a man accused of murdering five women matched those found on his alleged victims, a forensic expert has said.

Ray Palmer told jurors that fibres from Steve Wright's Ford Mondeo car, Tesco tracksuit and home items were found.

A series of linked finds on the five women, who all worked as prostitutes, "would not occur by chance", said Mr Palmer of the Forensic Science Service.

Mr Wright, 49, on trial at Ipswich Crown Court, denies killing the women.

The bodies of Paula Clennell, 24, Anneli Alderton, 24, Gemma Adams, 25, Annette Nicholls, 29, and Tania Nicol, 19, were all found over 10 days in December 2006.

Mr Palmer, a consultant forensic scientist, said the chance of finding fibres on the bodies linked to the accused was "very small".

Red acrylic fragments were found on the back seat and parcel shelf of Mr Wright's car which were indistinguishable from microscopic material found on the bodies of Miss Alderton, Miss Clennell and Miss Adams, the court heard.

Fibres from a tracksuit worn by Mr Wright at the time of his arrest were found on the bodies of Miss Alderton, Miss Nicholls, Miss Clennell and Miss Nicol.

They would have had to have been in contact with an item from the home environment or indeed the car
Ray Palmer

And fibres found on the bodies of Miss Clennell, Miss Alderton and Miss Nicholls were also found on items in his Ipswich home, the court heard.

The presence of the fibres suggested contact with Mr Wright shortly before their bodies were dumped, jurors heard.

Mr Palmer, a prosecution witness, told the court: "They would have had to have been in contact with an item from the home environment or indeed the car."

Timothy Langdale, QC for the defence, cross-examined Mr Palmer's evidence suggesting only a small proportion of the hundreds of fibres found on the bodies were linked to Mr Wright - to which Mr Langdale agreed.

Mr Langdale said the other pieces of material could have come from different clients of the prostitutes.

'Forceful contact'

Fibres found in the hair of Miss Adams, whose body was found in a brook, were likely to have been transferred through "forceful direct contact", Mr Palmer said.

A black nylon fibre was found in the hair of Miss Nicol which matched the carpet in Mr Wright's Ford Mondeo, the court heard. Miss Nicol's body was also found in a brook.

Mr Palmer said there was evidence Miss Nicol had also been subjected to "forceful or prolonged" contact with items from Mr Wright's home, car and clothing around the time of her disappearance.

Only a remnant of the original fibres deposited on the bodies of all five would remain as the majority of material would have been washed off the bodies as a result of being exposed to the elements, the court heard

This was particularly true in the case of Miss Nicol and Miss Adams because their bodies were found in water.

The trial continues.

Fibres linking Steve Wright and Annette Nicholls
Annette Nicholls
Jurors were shown a diagram of fibres linking Steve Wright and the body of Annette Nicholls
Annette Nicholls' body found on 12 December in woodland

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