A COURT has heard evidence from the only living witness to visit the place on the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester border where 11-year-old Lesley Molseed was found murdered more than 30 years ago.
Ronald Outteridge, a retired forensic scientist, told Bradford Crown Court how he went to a moor at Ripponden where Lesley’s body was found to collect samples for testing.
He was giving evidence at the trial of Ronald Castree, 54, of Shaw, Oldham, who is accused of murdering the girl in October 1975.
The court was told how Mr Outteridge saw Lesley’s body on the moor on October 8 1975, the day she was found, and took items of her clothing to a laboratory in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, to be tested for foreign bodies and semen.
Her body was found on moors three days after she went missing. Mr Outteridge said that examination of the body on the moor did not indicate that it was a sexual murder.
Tests at the laboratory found four “superficial” fibres on the clothes, while another scientific test, described as an AP test, found “light” semen staining, the jury was told.
The jury has heard how DNA taken from Castree has been found to be an exact match with DNA taken from the semen found on Lesley’s body.
But defence barrister Rodney Jameson QC told the court that, at a cold case review of the murder in October 2001, Mr Outteridge said it could not be proved that someone who matched the DNA taken from Lesley’s clothes had murdered her.
Mr Outteridge said: “To do that it would be necessary to prove that the semen was deposited during the murder of the little girl and I found no evidence to show that was the case. It might have been, it might not.”
Castree denies the murder of Lesley Molseed between October 4 and October 9, 1975.