by Keith Ramsey on Flickr - click for original

West Mercia Police are set to destroy hundreds of DNA samples supplied by Kings Norton residents during the investigation onto the murder of a Birmingham taxi driver.

Mohammed Arshad was killed in a violent attack in Wast Hills Lane, Hopwood in July 2009 and his taxi dumped a mile away on the Hawkesley estate.

In an attempt to quickly find his assailant, men aged 14 to 40 years in the area were asked to voluntarily provide DNA swabs, fingerprints and photographs. Amid doubts from the public about DNA sampling and databases, West Mercia Police gave assurances that any DNA samples would be destroyed once the investigation was over to encourage more men to volunteer samples.

Andrew John Bayliss, aged 29, from Kings Norton, Birmingham, is currently serving a life sentence after he was convicted of the murder at Worcester Crown Court in April this year.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sheila Thornes, who led the murder case, will oversee the disposal of the samples which will be incinerated at a specialist waste management company in Birmingham on Thursday, September 15.

DCS Thornes said: “As part of the murder investigation we carried out house-to-house enquiries on the Hawkesley estate and Monyhull Hall Road area and asked males living there to provide voluntarily samples for elimination purposes. They were compared with forensic samples recovered from Mr Arshad’s taxi.

“We told people at the time that these samples would not be used for any other cases, that they would not be recorded on any data bases and that they would be destroyed at the end of the investigation.

“As Mohammed Arshad’s killer has been brought to justice we are now fulfilling those assurances, using a government approved company which specialises in the disposal of this type of material.

“West Mercia Police would again like to thank the community for their co-operation during the investigation and helping us to reach a successful conclusion.”


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