Thumb print in Middlesbrough victim's blood pivotal to prosecution case, court hears (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Thumb print in victim's blood pivotal to prosecution case, court hears
A FINGERPRINT captured in the blood of a murder victim has played a pivotal role in the prosecution of a man standing trial for murder, a court has heard.
Teesside Crown Court was told that Robert Baker’s voice wavered and trembled when he was cross-examined when giving evidence during his trial.
Nicholas Lumley, QC, prosecuting, said the defendant was unable to explain how his thumb print was found in the blood of John Coates on a piece of plastic in the murder victim’s home.
“Come the time I put it to him – that is when the mask slipped from his face. His voice wavered and he trembled,” he said, addressing the jury. “He trembled again when he had to look at the sitting room where he has done what he did.
“I don’t think it was my imagination or yours that he squirmed at this point. There was no explanation from him how he left his thumb print there, even he couldn’t concoct a story.”
He added: “The only explanation is one that he couldn’t give - that he killed John Coates, the explanation that he doesn’t have the courage to give to you.”
Mr Baker, 24, denies murdering 61-year-old Mr Coates in his flat in September last year. The pair both lived in Fleet House, Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesbrough.
During his closing speech, defence barrister Martin Bethel, QC, pointed out to the jury that there were a number of fingerprints in the flat that had never been identified or explained by the police.
Mr Bethel said it cannot be explained how Mr Baker’s thumb print could have got onto the piece of plastic inside the 61-year-old’s flat.
However, he added: “Does it almost look like it was left there on purpose by somebody else? It’s for yourselves to decide. But what does it prove? Is Robert Baker the killer? That’s for you to decide.”
The jury is expected to retire to consider their verdict in the morning (Tuesday 13).