A MAN wrongly jailed for the murder of a frail Huddersfield woman breaks his silence today.
Mark Dallagher, a 30-year-old Huddersfield man with a criminal past, served more than seven years in jail before an Appeal Court ruled he was not the killer of Miss Dorothy Wood, 94.
Now he has told his story to the BBC's Rough Justice team and their documentary will be on BBC1 tonight at 10.35pm.
And Dallagher admits: "I'm fighting for my life here, that's all I have been able to do.
"But there is still a murderer out there."
When former nurse Miss Wood was murdered at her Fartown home in 1996, the only real clue was a print - thought to have been made by the murderer's ear as he'd listened at her window.
Police experts said earprints worked like fingerprints.
They told the jury that Mark Dallagher's earprint matched the murderer's and he became the only person in the UK to be jailed for life on the evidence of an earprint.
Dallagher, formerly of Honoria Street, Fartown, spent almost eight years in prison before tests proved the DNA on the earprint wasn't his.
A BBC1 spokesman said: "This remarkable edition of Rough Justice follows Mark in prison as he fights to prove his innocence, and also follows both the prosecution and defence teams.
"The film looks at the increasingly bitter struggle over two years as the case went first to an Appeal and then a retrial.
"Mark is released on bail and manages to find love amidst the wreckage of his life but this miscarriage of justice takes on an element of black farce.
"The police and prosecution continue to insist the earprint is reliable proof of his guilt right up to the moment when the new DNA evidence brought Mark's dramatic acquittal. The police have refused to reopen the inquiry to try to find the real murderer and no-one has apologised to Mark Dallagher for taking seven years of his life."
Dallagher himself is bitter. He says he finds it hard to cope after his release, despite living with his fiancee.
"You can't just take a man's whole life off him, take his freedom away from him and just put him away for years and then kick him back out again after eight years and say: `OK, go on, you're all right'. It doesn't work like that.
"I'm struggling, you know. I'm 30 years old but I'm struggling going to town centres and getting a bus and using a phone. Everything is hard, everything.
"I don't know how to use a mobile phone and I don't know how to work DVD players. I'm having to learn everything."
West Yorkshire Police said they had looked again at the case.
"Having re-examined the case the force has not found any evidence to lead to the prosecution of any other suspects for the murder of Dorothy Wood.
"Therefore we consider the matter closed until any further admissible evidence comes to light."
It was in December, 1998, that Dallagher was convicted of the murder of Miss Wood at her home in Whitby Avenue.
She had been smothered to death by an intruder who broke into her home in May, 1996.
* Dutch expert Cornelius van der Lugt pioneered earprint technology
* Experts said they were 100% certain over the print in the Wood case
* Police believed earprints, just like fingerprints, could play a part in linking a suspect to the scene of a crime.
* A month after Dallagher's conviction, more than 1,200 ears had been logged on to the database at the National Training Centre for Scientific Crime Investigation at Harpeley Hall, Co Durham.
* No two ears are exactly the same.
* The cartilage and contours of ears give them unique shapes.