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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Police sure of killer's guilt
Mabel Leyshon
DNA evidence was found at Mabel Leyshon's home
The police chief who led the investigation into the "brutal" killing of Mabel Leyshon has said there was "no doubt" that Mathew Hardman was the murderer.

The 17-year-old had worn gloves during his attack on the frail pensioner to prevent his fingerprints being found at the house.


The guilty verdict of the jury is confirmation beyond doubt that Mathew Hardman was responsible for her killing

Det Sup Alan Jones
But a bloodstain on a window sill provided the DNA evidence of a male as well as Mrs Leyshon.

Police officers also found a footprint of a trainer on the slate Hardman had used to smash a glass panel to gain access to the house.

Detective Superintendent Alan Jones, who led the inquiry, said: "The evidence against Hardman was carefully gathered.

"The guilty verdict of the jury is confirmation beyond doubt that Mathew Hardman was responsible for her killing."

Following a public appeal in January after the November murder, Hardman was arrested by officers.

The bedroom of the teenager was searched and various vampire literature, a kitchen knife with minute traces of Mrs Leyshon's blood and a pair of trainers matching the footprint were found.

Mathew Hardman
DNA evidence linked Hardman to the murder

The trainers had recently been laundered in a washing machine.

Tom Brimley, a crime adviser with the Forensic Science Service said the trainers provided the initial link to the murder.

"They were examined and matched footwear marks found at the scene," he said.

While in custody, police obtained a DNA sample from Hardman.

"The results were then compared with a partial male profile left with the victim's blood on the window sill at the point of exit from Mabel Leyshon's home.

"The two were a match," he added.

One-in-73-million match

Scientists calculated that the chance of the DNA belonging to anyone other than Hardman was one-in-73-million.

A further piece of evidence was uncovered on a kitchen knife found in the pocket of a coat belonging to Hardman.

Tiny blood stains on the handle of the knife were matched to Mrs Leyshon.

Scientists at the Chorley laboratory initially used conventional DNA testing but failed to produce a result.

However, the latest, super-sensitive, low-copy number DNA technique was used to extract a partial profile matching Mrs Leyshon.

"This confirmed the police investigation team's suspicions that this was in fact the murder weapon," added Mr Brimley

See also:

02 Aug 02 | Wales
02 Aug 02 | Wales
02 Aug 02 | Wales
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