Philip Priestley represented K who was a 70 year old client charged with a cold murder case - Operation Pollena. On 2nd August 1994 the deceased, who was 86 years of age, was murdered in her own home by strangulation and a stab to the neck. She was also said to have been sexually assaulted.
For 25 years the murder remained unsolved. Then in 2017 new and advanced DNA techniques allowed the discovery of a DNA profile matching our client which was found on a tea towel said to have been used to strangle her, on her neck and both low and high vagina.
Abbas Lakha QC was instructed due to his extensive knowledge and expertise in DNA cases with Andrew Stranex as his junior.
Opus Law instructed one of the finest DNA experts in the country to robustly examine the prosecution findings. Sue Pope was extremely experienced in the new DNA techniques and prepared a report to assist the defence. Sue had been employed at the Forensic Science Service for over 20 years before becoming a defence expert.
The defendant was convicted following a trial. The defendant received a sentence of life imprisonment with a 17 years recommendation. Had he fallen to be sentenced under the new 2003 guidelines the starting point would have been 30 years.
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Case represented by Phillip Priestley, Opus Law.