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Jennifer Dornan murder: accused’s DNA not found on items linked to her home, court hears

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Murder victim Jennifer Dornan

Murder victim Jennifer Dornan

Murder victim Jennifer Dornan

The DNA of the man accused of murdering west Belfast mum Jennifer Dornan was not found to be present in her home, a court heard today.

Raymond O'Neill (43) has been charged with murdering the 30-year-old, whose remains were discovered in the bedroom of her Hazel View home.

O'Neill - who was 37 at the time and from the Amcomri Street area of the city - is accused of stabbing Ms Dornan then starting a fire in her Lagmore home in the early hours of Sunday, August 2, 2015.

He denies the charges of arson and murder and is standing trial at Belfast Crown Court.

A forensic expert who specialises in DNA was called to give evidence and confirmed that, in the aftermath of Ms Dornan's death, he received items and swabs taken from various properties which he tested in a lab.

There were 51 separate items and swabs taken from Ms Dornan's home – including swabs taken from door handles, bathroom taps, light switches, an outside gate latch and keys.

The expert said all the items and swabs linked to Ms Dornan's home were tested for DNA and that O'Neill's DNA was not present on any of them.

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He also confirmed that he was given 26 other items to test which came from four properties and a car where O'Neill spent time in the hours after Ms Dornan's death.

When asked if it was the case that Ms Dornan's DNA was not found on any of these items, the forensic expert replied: "That's correct."

He was also asked about the presence of blood on a pink dressing gown located in the Woodside View home of a friend of O'Neill's.

The jury of six men and six women have already heard that O'Neill arrived at this property with his friend in the early hours of August 2, 2015.

The friend - who gave evidence earlier this week - said O'Neill put on his mother's pink dressing gown before falling asleep on the sofa.

The forensic expert was asked if the bloodstains on this dressing gown were analysed. He confirmed this was the case, and that O'Neill's DNA was present on the bloodstains.

The trial continues.


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