Murder accused's DNA found on alleged victim's body, court told
- Credit: Essex Police
The DNA of a 28-year-old man was found on the body of an 83-year-old Essex pensioner who was beaten and strangled to death in his own home during a burglary, a jury has heard.
Forensic scientist Simon Malsom told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday (July 19) that Leighton Snook’s DNA was found on swabs taken from Donald Ralph’s left palm and from under the fingernails of his right hand.
He said it was a billion times more likely that the DNA came from Snook than someone unknown or unrelated to him.
Mr Malsom said Snook’s DNA was also found on the front neckline of a fleece Mr Ralph was wearing when he died.
He said no DNA from a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was found on Mr Ralph’s body.
Snook and the 16-year-old boy have both denied murdering Mr Ralph at his home in Halstead Road, Aldham, near Colchester in December last year.
It has been alleged that the pair were seen on CCTV travelling near to Mr Ralph's home by taxi during the afternoon of Monday, December 28.
- 1 Machinery to be sold following the loss of 'passionate' farmer
- 2 How bride paid £1 for vintage wedding dress
- 3 Town co-owner Bakay on future of Portman Road name
- 4 5 places to avoid the crowds in Suffolk this summer
- 5 Two people injured after car flips over in east Suffolk
- 6 Town Transfer Talk: Latest on Coulson, Crooks, Bishop and Downes
- 7 Band and singer pull out of Latitude Festival due to positive Covid tests
- 8 Sought-after Felixstowe beach hut sells for £88K
- 9 'I am very, very excited' - Town teenager Gibbs completes Norwich move
- 10 Restraining order for venue boss who intimidated council leader's daughter
Simon Spence QC, prosecuting, has told the court that Mr Ralph was beaten until he bled and strangled to death.
"His landline telephone was ripped out of its socket to prevent any calls being made", said Mr Spence.
Two guns which Mr Ralph had certificates for - a self-loading Ruger Rifle 22 RF and a Browning 12 bore over and under shotgun - were stolen from the property.
Mr Ralph's blue Volvo was also taken from his driveway and was used by Snook and the teenager to travel to Hastings, in Sussex, the following day.
Mr Spence alleged that Snook and the teenager wanted to "obtain money or to take items to raise money".
Jurors were told Snook was related to Mr Ralph by step-marriage and, prior to his death, Mr Ralph received a call from a man believed to be Snook saying he needed £6,000 to £8,000 which was owed to a drug-dealer.
Snook, of no fixed address, denies murder, burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.
The 16-year-old denies murder and theft of a motor vehicle but has pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary, jurors were told.
The trial continues.