| 19.9°C Belfast

Murder clues contaminated: claim

A policeman who was in the home of a man later convicted of murdering a young woman on the night she was killed had also been at the place where her body was discovered, a court has heard.

Lawyers for Henryk Gorski made the claim while arguing that forensic evidence against their client could have been contaminated.

Gorski, a 53-year-old Polish meat factory worker, is seeking to overturn his conviction for the murder of Shirley Finlay in Ballymena, Co Antrim, in September 2006.

A two-day appeal hearing due to take place next month has now been put back due to issues around later disclosure and the availability of trial transcripts.

Ms Finlay's partially-clothed body was dumped in a car park. Gorski was ordered to serve at least 20 years in jail after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict in 2009.

During his trial the court heard a series of hard facts linked her death to Gorski's flat.

His fingerprints were said to have been on bin bags used to tie her body inside a duvet cover connected to his home.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

A jacket found beside the victim bore traces of DNA from Gorski's former lover. And a strand of hair matching that of Ms Finlay's was also found on the carpet in Gorski's Hill Street flat.

Despite the forensic and circumstantial evidence, Gorski continued to maintain his innocence.

When told he faced life imprisonment, he yelled in Polish: “I don't agree with it.”

His legal team are seeking to adduce evidence that a police officer was in his flat on the night of the murder.

But Gorski's barrister Sean Devine made a further claim as the case was mentioned in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

He said: “It now transpires that not only was he (the officer) in |the home, but he actually visited the site where the body was |deposited.”

Mr Devine stressed the significance of this development in a case where forensic evidence played a key role.

Judges agreed to take the case out of the list for next month. It is now to be heard in May.

Top Videos