DETECTIVES plan no further investigations into the death of a Huddersfield pensioner after the man jailed for her murder was cleared.
Mark Dallagher, formerly of Honoria Street in Fartown, had spent seven years in jail after being convicted of murdering 94-year-old Dorothy Wood at her Fartown home on May 7, 1996.
But now the exact circumstances of her death will remain a mystery.
The main prosecution evidence was that Dallagher, now 31, left a unique earprint on the window of Miss Wood's home - consistent with a burglary technique he admitted using in the past.
The Crown also relied on evidence from a fellow prisoner that Dallagher allegedly admitted he was involved in the murder.
When arrested for Miss Wood's murder, Dallagher was serving a nine-month jail term for burglary.
His conviction for murder was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2002 and a re-trial was ordered.
Dallagher has been on bail while a six-month investigation was carried out.
Expert opinion of the reliability of earprint evidence was tested and new genetic techniques used on the earprints failed to prove it came from Dallagher.
This called into question the original "groundbreaking" techniques used to link Dallagher to the print.
New confidential information about Miss Wood's death was also received and the prosecution decided not to rely on the fellow prisoner's evidence about Dallagher.
Yesterday, the prosecution dropped the case and offered no evidence against Dallagher.
Judge Sir Stephen Mitchell formally found him not guilty of murder at the Old Bailey.
Dallagher, who now lives in Essex, is thought to be seeking compensation.
His counsel James Sturman QC said the original conviction was "a grotesque miscarriage of justice".
He added: "This is another example of dangers of police perhaps following science too closely."
His solicitor, Neil O'May, said: "He wants it known that he has waited seven years for this day.
"For the whole time he was in prison on a life sentence he has protested his innocence."
Mr O'May said Dallagher wanted the crime re-investigated to get justice for Miss Wood's family.
However, after the verdict, West Yorkshire Police said no new murder investigation would be launched.
In a joint statement with the Crown Prosecution Service, the police said the Court of Appeal had not criticised the way the prosecution presented its case at the original trial.
The statement said: "The appeal was allowed because evidence, which has only recently been obtained by the defence, might have made a difference to the outcome of the original trial.
"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."