Belfast Telegraph

I'm sure fingerprints belong to loyalist killer, says expert

By Paul Higgins

A fingerprint expert said he was “100% certain” he uncovered palm prints belonging to a loyalist killer in a hijacked taxi used in another |sectarian murder.

Giving evidence at the Belfast Crown Court trial of Robert Rodgers (59), Dennis Thompson said that given the pattern and characteristics of Rodgers' palm prints, he had no doubt they matched those uncovered in the taxi.

Rodgers, from Tierney Gardens in Belfast, denies murdering Eileen |Doherty (19) on October 1, 1973. Judge Mr Justice Horner already heard how the teenager was unwittingly sharing a taxi from the Ormeau Road back to west Belfast with her killers when the two men hijacked the taxi on Annadale Embankment. Miss Doherty fled but the men chased her and shot her.

Scenes of crime officers uncovered palm prints on the inside of the rear passenger window and on the steering wheel and yesterday Mr Thompson said he re-examined the unsolved file at the request of the Historical |Enquiries Team.

Mr Justice Horner also heard how Rodgers and another man were jailed for life for the sectarian murder of Ciaran McElroy (18) a year later.

The trial continues.

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