Trial hears from 1975 forensic expert

Trial hears from 1975 forensic expert 
25 October 2007 
Yorkshire Post

The  jury trying an Oldham man accused of murdering Lesley Molseed have heard from the only living witness to have visited the moorland spot where her body was found. Ronald Outteridge, a retired forensic scientist, described his visit to the remote moorland where Lesley's body was discovered close to the A672 between Oldham and Ripponden. He was giving evidence at the Bradford trial of Ronald Castree, 54, who is accused of murdering the young girl in October 1975.

The scientist visited the scene on October 8 1975, the day the 11-year-old's body was found, and took items of her clothing for testing. Mr Outteridge said examination of the body on the moor did not indicate it was a sexual murder.

The court has heard how semen was found in the schoolgirl's underwear, which the prosecution said provided DNA that was an "exact match" to Castree's DNA profile.

"The knickers were in the normal wearing position, the skirt, I think, was rucked up, it was not indicative of normal sexual assault," Mr Outteridge told the court.

The jury also heard that, at a cold case review of the murder in October 2001, Mr Outteridge said it could not be proved that someone who matched the DNA taken from Lesley's clothes had murdered her. Mr Outteridge said: "To do that it would be necessary to prove that the semen was deposited during the murder of the little girl and I found no evidence to show that was the case. It might have been, it might not."

Castree denies murder. The trial continues.

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