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Vicky: Expert can't put date on soil

PUBLISHED: 14:10 09 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

A PROFESSOR today said soil samples taken from the Porsche owned by the man accused of killing Suffolk teenager Vicky Hall could have been deposited there before he owned the vehicle.

A PROFESSOR today said soil samples taken from the Porsche owned by the man accused of killing Suffolk teenager Vicky Hall could have been deposited there before he owned the vehicle.

Soil expert Professor Kenneth Pye told Norwich Crown Court that the possibility that soil samples taken from Adrian Bradshaw's Porsche had been there from before he owned the car "could not be ruled out".

And he was answering questions under cross examination from defence counsel David Cocks, QC.

Bradshaw, 27, has denied murdering Vicky Hall. The body of the 17-year-old was found in a water-filled ditch in Creeting St Peter on September 24, 1999, five days after going missing.

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

Today at Norwich Crown Court Mr Cocks asked: "Mr Bradshaw was in possession of that car from June 5, 1999 to June 5, 2000, those clumps (of soil) could have been in the car when he bought it?"

Professor Pye replied: "It is possible, you couldn't rule it out."

He also said it was not possible to date when the soil had been deposited in the Porsche.

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.

Repeating a statement Professor Pye previously made, Mr Cocks said: "It is difficult to be precise about how those clumps got on the footwell, unlikely to be secondary transfer."

Professor Pye replied: "I think it is highly unlikely."

During the cross examination the court heard that the 10 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".

Responding to questions from Mr Cocks he described how he and his team of assistants analysed soil from the footwell of the Porsche, the ditch where the body was found and other various locations in East Anglia.

He went on to describe the various techniques used to exam the soil and spot similarities in composition.

Earlier in the day Professor Pye answered questions from Crown prosecutor Michael Lawson, QC. When asked how the soil could have been deposited in the Porsche Professor Pye said: "In terms of how they got in the car is an issue which is difficult to be absolutely precise on." He added: "It is very likely to be primary transfer."

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