Devon

Plymouth Argyle youth player murder trial used 3D-printed bottle

3D printed bottle Image copyright City College Plymouth
Image caption The bottle was used by prosecutors at the trial to ask the defendant to safely demonstrate how he had attacked Alex Peguero Sosa

A 3D-printed bottle was used in the trial of a man who went on to be convicted of murdering a teenager.

City College Plymouth said it was asked to make a replica of the weapon to show how it was handled.

Lee Dent, 42, was jailed for life last month for killing footballer Alex Peguero Sosa by stabbing him in the neck with a broken bottle, last July.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was the "first time we had used this technological approach".

Dent, from East Portlemouth, near Salcombe, killed Former Plymouth Argyle youth squad player Alex, 17, in Kingsbridge, Devon.

'Explain full facts'

The pair squared up to each other at a taxi rank before the murder, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Dent was ordered to serve a minimum term of 22 years.

Image copyright Plymouth Argyle
Image caption Former Plymouth Argyle youth squad player Alex Peguero Sosa died from being stabbed with a broken bottle

The college said the creation of the reproduction murder weapon took more 28 hours, using a state-of-the-art Cubex 3D printer. Such printers create solid objects by using many thin layers of material, such as plastics.

The college's equipment had previously been used to create prototypes and parts to repair equipment, but this was the first time it had been applied to forensic crime solving, it added.

Det Insp Ian Ringrose, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "Thanks to the replica of the murder weapon they produced, the prosecution was able to safely ask the defendant to demonstrate how he had held the bottle when he struck the victim.

"It allowed the barrister, Simon Laws QC, to closely cross examine him on this aspect of his evidence.

"This was the first time we had used this technological approach, and the use of it in court helped to fully explain the facts."

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