THREE youths accused of murdering Huddersfield taxi driver Mohammed Parvaiz may not have taken part in his attack, an expert has claimed.
Forensic scientist Gillian Leek told Leeds Crown Court yesterday that there was no forensic evidence to associate Christopher Murphy, 18, a 17-year-old and 16-year-old defendant with the assault on the father-of-three.
Michael Hand, 19, has pleaded guilty to murder. Murphy, 18, Graeme Slavin, 18, two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old all deny the charge.
Mrs Leek showed jurors items of clothing and footwear seized from the defendants when they were arrested.
Holding the blood-stained garments up for their view she explained the likely connection of each defendant to the attack on the 42-year-old at Field Head in Golcar.
She showed them one of two jackets belonging to the 17-year-old defendants found discarded by police near the scene of the crime. The distinctive blue top with one red sleeve and one yellow sleeve had blood stains inside the hood and on one of the sleeves.
Mrs Leek confirmed there were three areas of staining matching the dead driver's DNA.
She said it was likely a hand wet with blood had been drawn up through the sleeve as the top was being taken off.
Blood found on one of the defendant's navy and white Nike trainers also matched Mr Parvaiz. A series of fine blood spots were also found on the defendant's jeans.
Defendant Graeme Slavin's clothing was also introduced as evidence. A star pattern on his navy and red top was marked with blood, one of his dark blue Nike trainer's was also stained near the toe.
Mrs Leek said: "I wouldn't rule out that that could be produced by a kick."
As the expert prepared to show jurors Mr Parvaiz's trousers, she warned: "The court should be aware that these are quite heavy blood stains."
She said the blood on the front of the left thigh showed how the victim was sitting in the driver's seat 'dripping with blood from the left side of his face'.
She added that blood 'spatter' found further down his trousers could not have occurred while he was inside the vehicle.
Mrs Leek told the court she took nail clippings and scrapings from the defendants.
She said one of the 17-year-old's had traces of blood that matched his own DNA. She added that Murphy and the 16-year-old defendant had no blood stains on their hands.
She concluded that the clothing and footwear of Michael Hand, 19, who was absent from proceedings after changing his plea to guilty last week, placed him central to the attack.
Mr Waterman said: "Does this provide extremely strong scientific support that Mr Hand has forcibly kicked Mr Parvaiz after he was injured and bleeding? "
Mrs Leek said: "Yes, it does."
She said that the blood found on 18-year-old Slavin's clothes and shoes also provided extremely strong evidence that he had kicked the dying man.
She said there was extremely strong evidence that one of the 17-year-olds had been in the vicinity where blood shed by Mr Parvaiz has been projected.
Rodney Jameson, defending Slavin, asked Mrs Leek about blood found on his client's shorts.
She said she didn't know who it belonged to and for how long it had been on the item.
He also asked her whether the staining on Slavin's trainer could have been caused by a body falling onto the foot.
She claimed the blood distribution best supported a 'kicking action'.
David Nathan defending one of the 17-year-olds said: "You found no evidence to associate my client with this crime, is that correct?"
Mrs Leek said it was and confirmed it was highly unlikely that he, Murphy and the 16-year-old defendant were in the area of the scene where Mr Parvaiz's blood was spattered. The trial continues.