For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Jurors told no DNA link to connect James Allen to double murder
JURORS in a double murder trial have been told there is no DNA evidence linking the defendant to either murder site.
James Allen is accused of killing Colin Dunford and Julie Davison in April this year.
Defence barrister Rod Hunt told Newcastle Crown Court that there was no evidence proving that the 36-year-old had been in Mr Dunford’s Middlesbrough home or Ms Davison’s Whitby home at the time of the murders.
Every miscarriage of justice begins with a guilty verdict Mr Hunt told the jury.
He said: “Do not fall into the trap that you have all this evidence and all this CCTV footage so it must be so, don’t fall into the trap that other juries have, please don’t do it.”
Mr Hunt told the jurors that Mr Allen accepted that he was in Middlesbrough and Whitby at the time of murders but he did not kill either of them.
Speaking about the crime scene at Ms Davison’s Church Square flat, he said: “The blood shed there was extensive, how did the person leave that flat without leaving any (blood) in the community doorway or door handles?
“You would expect someone who has come out of that flat to look like somebody out of a horror film.”
Mr Hunt whoever had killed Ms Davison would have left some fingerprints or DNA showing they had been there and there was none to connect Mr Allen to the inside of the flat.
He said his client was not a criminal genius in the shape of the fictional Professor Moriarty and would have left some scientific evidence if he was the killer.
“You would not expect to see Professor Moriarty cycling around covered in blood or wearing a dead woman’s clothing – it simply doesn’t go with the turf,” he added.
The barrister conceded there were partial footprints in both homes that matched the Nike Airmax trainers that his client regularly wore but none of those inspected by police matched exactly.
He said: “Nike appears to be the shoe of burglar’s choice, it’s not something that they are going to put in their adverts though. The reference for the sole print is 666, some sort of joke perhaps.”
Mr Hunt told jurors that there wasn’t any evidence linking his defendant to either murder. He said: “you may have to do something that will be very, very unpopular, you might have to find Mr Allen not guilty.”
After Mr Hunt’s closing speech, Mr Justice Openshaw began his summing up all the evidence heard during the three week trial.
Judge Openshaw said it is for the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty and Mr Allen doesn’t have to prove anything, least of all his innocence.
Mr Allen, of Lothian Road, Middlesbrough, denies two counts of murder.
The judge is expected to conclude his summing up tomorrow (Tuesday, November 20).