A FORENSIC scientist told a court that traces of DNA belonging to David Ryan were found on the bed sheets of a murdered Cranage cattery owner.

Forensic scientist Luan Lunt told the jury at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, June 19, that a DNA profile belonging to Ryan, of Byrom Street, Hale was on blood stained bed sheets at Diana Lee’s Parklands home.

Traces of Ryan’s semen were found on the sheets – that were found in the garage of Diana’s home - during routine examinations.

Diana’s body was found in the heavily blood stained sheets when firefighters put out a blaze that had been started in the property’s garage.

But Miss Lunt told the court that the water used to put out the fire had affected some of the samples collected.

A towel was also found in the kitchen, which had stab marks in it and was heavily blood stained.

Miss Lunt said she could not be sure where Diana’s fatal head injuries were inflicted in the house.

“I can’t be sure because of the difficulties with the dilution of the blood staining,” she said.

“I can’t be too specific on where or when the first blow was inflicted. The stab cuts in the towel and Diana’s head injuries suggest she was wearing the towel at the time the stab cuts were made to the towel.”

DNA profiles belonging to Diana, Philip Rawcliffe (a friend of Diana’s), lodger Andrew Leese and her brother Colin Sherwin, were also found in the house.

Members of the jury were also shown pictures of blood stained sheets and the duvet, which prosecutors say was used to drag Diana through the house after she had been killed.

“It’s possible that she could have been dragged down the stairs and then carried between the house and the garage,” Miss Lunt added.

Gordon Cole, defending Mr Ryan, in cross examination of Miss Lunt, asked the scientist about how she believed his client’s DNA was found in the house and could it have been transferred by Mrs Lee.

He added that a blood-soaked flannel in the bathroom had traces of Ryan’s DNA on it but suggested it could have been as a result of Mrs Lee wiping herself.

Miss Lunt said she was unable to say whether Ryan’s DNA or the blood from Mrs Lee was put onto the flannel first.

The trial continues.