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Soil samples differ, court told

PUBLISHED: 12:03 10 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

SOIL samples taken from the car belonging to the man accused of murdering Suffolk teenager Vicky Hall, did vary from soil taken from the ditch where her body was found, a court heard.

SOIL samples taken from the car belonging to the man accused of murdering Suffolk teenager Vicky Hall, did vary from soil taken from the ditch where her body was found, a court heard.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court heard that soil particles taken from Adrian Bradshaw's Porsche contained up to 38 per cent more uranium, than samples taken from the ditch in Creeting St Peter.

Professor Kenneth Pye, under cross examination from defence counsel David Cocks QC, agreed that soil samples taken from Bradshaw's Porsche had a higher concentration of uranium.

However, he suggested that as other elements from both samples were so similar, it was impossible to rule out that they were from the same original source.

He added that there was a minimum difference of 22 per cent in the radium content of the samples.

He said: "I don't think it's down to analytical error. I think it's a real result, a real difference."

He added: "The difference is not so large that you still can't rule out that it came from the same source."

Professor Pye gave evidence for the duration of proceedings yesterday in day six of the murder trial.

Bradshaw, 27, denies killing 17-year-old Vicky. She was found in a water-filled ditch Creeting St Peter on September 24 1999, five days after she disappeared on her way home from the Bandbox nightclub in Felixstowe where she had spent the evening with best friend Gemma Algar.

The A-level student who lived in Faulkeners Way, Trimley St Mary, with her parents and brother Steven, was last seen alive by Miss Algar when the pair parted at the junction of Faulkeners Way and Trimley's main road.

Professor Pye talked about the small potential for error in his research.

Mr Cocks asked if it was possible the soil in Bradshaw's Porsche could have come from anywhere other than the Creeting St Peter ditch.

Professor Pye said: "It can't be ruled out but it is highly improbable."

Crown prosecutor Michael Lawson QC then re-examined the professor.

In response to a question about the similarity of soil samples taken in East Anglia, Professor Pye answered: "Nothing comes near the similarity between the footwell and the body deposition site."

Previously in the trial Professor Pye described soil samples taken from the footwell of Bradshaw's Porsche as "remarkably similar" to earth where the body was discovered.

However he also said yesterday it was not possible to date when the soil had been deposited in the Porsche and that it was possible there before Bradshaw first had the car in June 1999.

The court also heard that Professor Pye believed the mud had been directly deposited in the car from the original location of the soil to the footwell.

During the cross examination the court heard that the samples Professor Pye used to carry out his research had been destroyed as part of the analysis. He described this as "an inevitable consequence of the process".

The trial continues.

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