Palm print led police to man on trial for 1997 murder of trans sex worker

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A roofer from Leeds was arrested after being identified from a palm print left at a murder scene ten years previously, a jury was told yesterday.

Transsexual prostitute Robyn Browne, 23, was found dead at the flat where she worked in Gosfield Street, Central London in February 1997.

She had been stabbed nine times in the chest and neck,

James Hopkins, 42, of Bawn Drive, Leeds reportedly confessed to the murder in a letter he wrote from prison to his partner Donna, also telling his young son in another letter: “My past has come back to haunt me.”

Nicholas Hilliard QC for the prosecution at the Old Bailey said that a palm print had been left on the bedroom door of Ms Browne’s flat, as well as on a copy of The Sun newspaper, and another publication.

He went on to say it was not until the prints could automatically be identified from the police computer database that Hopkins was linked to the murder.

Hopkins, who was arrested in 2007, claimed that he had been sent to Ms Browne’s flat by drug dealers to take her address book which contained the details of her celebrity clients, who were being blackmailed.

Mr Hilliard said: “There is some evidence Robyn Browne did have some clients in the public eye.”

However he went on to say of Hopkins’ claims: “It was all untrue.”

Ms Browne had at the time been undergoing gender reassignment surgery but had not yet had the final operation.

Hopkins denies murder.

The trial continues.