Absence of blood on alleged murder weapon, court hears
There was an absence of blood on the alleged weapon which killed a 32-year-old man in Ipswich, a court has heard.
In the defence's opening in the Daniel Saunders murder trial, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard a forensic report regarding the alleged knife used.
Mr Saunders was attacked in an alleyway behind houses in Turin Street in the town on December 16 last year and bled to death from a single stab wound.
William Carter, defending a 17-year-old youth from Bury St Edmunds accused of murdering Mr Saunders, read a forensic report from Dr John Whitaker.
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The report said the absence of blood, skin and tissue on the blade does not help to establish whether it was used to stab the victim.
The court heard how the absence of blood could have been either because it was not the knife used - or that it was the knife used, and other factors had contributed to its absence.
In his report, Dr Whitaker said if it was the right knife, the blood may have been removed after the incident or environmental conditions, such as rain, may have caused the absence of blood.
The weapon also may have been effectively wiped as it left the victim's body or could have been removed before bleeding started, the court heard.
Dr Whitaker said: "The absence of blood, skin and tissue on the blade does not assist in establishing if it was used to stab Daniel Saunders."
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The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, is on trial with five other defendants, who deny assisting an offender by disposing of his clothing and harbouring him at a caravan park.
They are Arjun Jadeja, 18, of The Nook, Wivenhoe; Benjamin Gosbell, 20, of Gratian Close, Highwoods, Colchester; Olusola Durojaiye, 33, of Appleton Mews, Colchester; a 16-year-old boy from Bury St Edmunds, and a 17-year-old boy from Colchester.
The court has heard that the 17-year-old told police that Mr Saunders and friend Ben Wright had tried to rob him in the alleyway, and that he had grabbed a knife being carried by Mr Wright and stabbed Mr Saunders in self-defence.
The jury have also previously been told by a consultant forensic pathologist that Mr Saunders was stabbed in the left abdomen and the 30cm long wound had damaged a number of internal organs, as well as slicing through a rib.
The trial continues.