Monday, January 25, 2010

The Government's DNA Database

I have to say that I'm not a big fan of the Government's DNA database, though it does play a pivotal role in the Nightingale book that I'm writing! I don't like the way that the police are putting almost everyone they come into contact with into the database, often for the slightest of offences. But the following story in today's papers shows how successful it can be in solving crimes - in this case they caught a rapist-murderer because his son's DNA was in the database. That is quite something, especially as the son wasn't even when born when the father committed the crime.

A married father of four was jailed for life for the murder of a teenage girl more than 26 years ago.

Paul Hutchinson, 51, was told he would serve a minimum term of 25 years for the murder of trainee hairdresser Colette Aram in October 1983.

Colette, 16, was walking to her boyfriend's house in the Nottinghamshire village of Keyworth when she was abducted by Hutchinson.

The former electrician-turned businessman bundled the teenager into the back of a stolen car and beat her about the head with a bottle before raping her. He then strangled Colette with his bare hands before arranging her body in a nearby field in a sexually-provocative pose.

The case was the first feature of the first episode of the BBC's Crimewatch in June 1984 but Hutchinson was only caught last year after evidence taken from near the murder scene was used to form his full DNA profile. It was then run against the Government's database and was found to match his son's, who had been detained for a traffic offence.

Hutchinson, a psychology graduate who had also been a youth worker, was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court. Hutchinson, of Stockgill Close, West Bridgford, Nottingham, admitted murdering Colette at a court hearing last month.

Mr Justice Flaux described Colette's murder as a "truly horrendous attack".

He said: "The terror and degradation that this poor girl must have suffered at the hands of a stranger in her last few moments are unimaginable. It's clear from the evidence before the court that you (Hutchinson) are a compulsive liar and fantasist. You have lived your life with your wife and children who were completely ignorant of who you were."

Colette's mother Jacqui Kirkby, 63, spoke after sentencing and said she would like to "poke the eyes out" of her daughter's killer.

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