Missing Warwick woman Gail Lynch.
Missing Warwick woman Gail Lynch.

DNA found on axe points to Gail Lynch, says expert

AN AXE seized during a police search of accused killer Ian Phillip Hannaford's Rockville home arguably had what was believed to be the DNA of missing Warwick woman Gail Lynch.

The DNA was found on the edge of the blade of the axe, Toowoomba Supreme Court heard.

Because Ms Lynch had not been seen or heard from since July 3, 2012, a DNA profile was formed from hair on a brush in the main bedroom of her Guy St unit and from bristles of a toothbrush in her bathroom.

The DNA profile established was tagged "Unknown Female One" (UF1).

Senior Forensic Scientist Amanda Reeves told the court she had been tasked to analyse DNA through family relationships to Ms Lynch including DNA from her son Simon Hutchison.

Through a process of analysing DNA from Mr Hutchison and a daughter of Ms Lynch, Ms Reeves said it was 810 times more likely that Simon Hutchison was the son of Unknown Female One.

That could lead to the argument that UF1 is Gail Lynch.

It is the Crown case that Ms Lynch is dead and that Hannaford is responsible for her death.

Hannaford, 61, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of the mother and grandmother.

Forensic scientist Penelope Taylor of the DNA Analysis Unit told the court how a number of samples taken by police were analysed for DNA.

She said DNA taken from what police claim was a spot of blood on a plant pot in the kitchen of Ms Lynch's Warwick unit was, to the probability of 1700 billion to one, that of Ian Hannaford.

She found Hannaford's DNA had also been found in similar swabs taken from the taps of Ms Lynch's bathroom sink and on the concrete floor of her car port.

In Ms Lynch's bedroom, Hannaford's DNA was found on the carpet, a teddy bear, on the front of the wardrobe and a night gown while DNA believed to be from Hannaford and UF1 was found on the outside of a wardrobe drawer.

A strip of masking tape found in a wheelie bin at Hannaford's Gala Ct home in Rockville was found to contain the DNA of both Hannaford and UF1, Ms Taylor told the court.

DNA from both was also found on a tap in Hannaford's bathroom and on a blue towel.

DNA from UF1 was found on three environmentally friendly shopping bags located in the boot of Hannaford's blue Falcon sedan while Hannaford's DNA was found on a jacket in the back seat of the car, a plastic trim in the boot and on red handled multigrips pliers.

Court, murder trial Penelope Taylor, forensic scientist with the DNA analysis unit. She's giving evidence in the Hannaford murder trial. Photo Peter Hardwick / The Chronicle
Court, murder trial Penelope Taylor, forensic scientist with the DNA analysis unit. She's giving evidence in the Hannaford murder trial. Photo Peter Hardwick / The Chronicle Peter Hardwick

Tests of a fire damaged pillow taken from the wheelie bin at Hannaford's home was found to have his DNA on it as did a green pillow case, a fitted sheet and purple fabric, Ms Taylor said.

In cross examination, Ms Taylor agreed with defence barrister David Shepherd that there could be "secondary transfer" of DNA.

She used the example that if she shook hands with Mr Shepherd, her DNA could be on his hand.

And, if Mr Shepherd then shook hands with a third person, it was possible that her DNA would be on the hand of the third person when she hadn't been anywhere near that third person, Ms Taylor explained.

The trial before Justice John Bond will continue on Thursday.


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