No blood stain on jacket

A forensic scientist told a murder trial jury yesterday that a mark on lino in a house where two women were killed 18 years ago was likely to have been made by a Caterpillar brand boot.

However, the court heard it was a newer boot than the boot attributed to the accused Mark Nash. The 42-year-old, formerly of Prussia St and Clonliffe Rd, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Sylvia Shields, 60, and Mary Callanan, 61, between March 6 and 7, 1997.

The women were living in sheltered accommodation attached to St Brendan’s Hospital in Grangegorman.

Forensic scientist John McCullough of Forensic Science Ireland told Brendan Grehan, prosecuting, that he carried out a comparison on the black Caterpillar work boots belonging to Mr Nash on October 7, 2014.

On October 13, 2014, Mr McCullough told Mr Grehan he received a piece of light- coloured vinyl floor covering from the house at Orchard View in Grangegorman.

The jury yesterday saw the lino with a partial footwear impression on it, which appeared to be in blood.

Mr McCullough told the court a colleague said at the time it came from a particular type of Caterpillar boot.

Describing the sole pattern, Mr McCullough said there was a “series of W shaped blocks on the heel of the sole”.

The court heard there was an “absence of fine wavy lines” on the boot belonging to the accused, which would disappear with wear.

However Mr McCullough told the court the patterns of the soles corresponded.

Cross-examined by Hugh Hartnett, defending, Mr McCullough said the mark on the lino was “likely to be made by a Caterpillar boot but a relatively new one”.

Another forensic scientist, Fiona Thornton, told the jury she found no traces of blood stains on a jacket worn by Mr Nash, when examined in August 1997.

Witness Michael Norton, who has retired from the Forensic Science Lab,

told Úna Ní Raifeartaigh, for the State, he examined a duvet cover and a blood-stained sheet in July 1997 to look for fragments of glass, glass that be could be compared with a sample from the broken window of the kitchen at Orchard View. Mr Norton told Ms Ní Raifeartaigh he found six small fragments of glass from the duvet cover and they matched the control samples from the window.

The jury heard the sheet taken from the bedroom of Ms Shields had two small fragments of glass that matched the window glass.

The court heard that there were no glass fragments recovered from the pockets of the jacket, but two fragments were recovered from its surface.

The trial continues.


Lifestyle

Easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home. By Carol O’CallaghanStaying in is the new going out: Easy and cost-effective ways to spruce up your home

Need a funny, hopeful read? Hannah Stephenson rounds up the best.10 uplifting books to cheer you up on dark days

Esther N McCarthy put the call out to Irish crafters and grafters this week. Let's support our local makers, all of these are available onlineWish List: Supporting Irish crafters selling online

Shane Johnson takes a look (and listen) at two recent electronic full-lengths.Album reviews: Wajatta and Takeleave provide beats and pieces

More From The Irish Examiner