Wales

John Cooper trial: Fibres 'link' him to murders

John Cooper
Image caption John Cooper denies four counts of murder and other separate charges, including rape

Fibres link a man to two 1980s double murders and an attack on a group of young people in Pembrokeshire in 1996, an expert witness has told a jury.

Glove fibres found near John Cooper's home matched those found on foliage used to hide Peter and Gwenda Dixon's bodies, Swansea Crown Court was told.

Fibre samples were taken from branches and clothing in 1989, the trial heard.

Mr Cooper, 66, of Letterston, denies murdering Richard and Helen Thomas, and Peter and Gwenda Dixon.

He also denies separate charges of rape, indecent assault and five attempted robberies in Pembrokeshire.

Roger Robson, a fibres expert called by the prosecution, told the court that fibres from a glove found in a hedgerow near the defendant's house in 1998, matched those found on foliage used to hide the bodies of Peter and Gwenda Dixon, and on their clothes.

Shotgun

Small fibres matching those from a sock worn by Richard Thomas, who was murdered in 1985, were found in the pocket of a pair of shorts in the defendant's house, the court heard.

The prosecution has said that blood matching the DNA profile of Mr Dixon has also been found on the garment.

The court also heard that fibres from a pair of gloves found in Mr Cooper's house were discovered on a shotgun, hidden in a hedgerow near the village of Sardis, Pembrokeshire.

On the same gun, the prosecution has said that blood matching the DNA profile of Mr Dixon has also been found.

The trial was told forensic experts had taped numerous surfaces thought to be connected to the crimes, including victims' skin.

The tapings had then been sealed.

Tapings from the clothing of a rape victim and a victim of indecent assault were also analysed, the court heard. This related to the attack on a group of young people in the Milford Haven area in 1996.

Mr Robson told the court that fibres matching a pair of gloves found near the Sardis robbery in 1996 were found on the clothing.

Mr Robson said "he had never worked on a case with as many links as this".

The case continues.

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