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Killer trapped by pet cat hairs in DNA first

By Paul Peachey

A killer who stabbed his friend after an argument has been jailed for life after he was identified by the hairs of his own pet cat found attached to the victim's dismembered body.

The conviction of David Hilder (47) – with the help of eight hairs from his pet feline Tinker – was the first time a new DNA database had been used in a homicide case.

The hairs were found on a curtain wrapped around the torso of David Guy after it was discovered on the beach at Southsea, Hampshire, last July.

Hilder was convicted of manslaughter last month for fatally stabbing Mr Guy in the chest. He will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison. Dr Jon Wetton, who led the DNA project, said: "This could be a real boon for forensic science as the 10 million cats in the UK are unwittingly tagging the clothes and furnishings in more than a quarter of households."

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