PETER SMITH TRIAL: Experts disagree about finger print evidence in Hilda Owen murder trial

A MURDER trial jury has heard how fingerprint experts disagreed about the origin of a bloodstained print found at the home of Skegby pensioner Hilda Owen.

A panel of Metropolitan Police experts, used by the defence team in the trial of Peter Kenneth Smith, found that the fingerprint discovered on a door handle was not Smith’s.

But Nottingham Crown Court heard last week that independent expert Alan Gore, called by the prosecution, identified the print as belonging to the accused.

Smith (48) denies battering his 71-year-old next door neighbour to death at her home in West Hill over five years ago.

It is alleged he sought to benefit from the widow’s will in order to solve his financial problems.

Expert Lisa Hall, questioned by Peter Joyce, QC, prosecuting, said the door handle mark was complex.

At first the panel had said they could not exclude Smith. But they were leaving the matter open to further discussion.

The panel gave consideration to Mr Gore’s ‘double touch’ theory but did not agree with it.

Later they considered the possibility that the print was left by Callum Adams, who lived with Smith for some time before leaving his house on 21st February 2007, a week before Mrs Owen was killed.

Adams is currently serving a prison sentence for killing a partner in 2009.

The witness told the jury: “We can’t say it is Callum Adams’s print but we can’t exclude him.”

The trial continues on Friday.