The conviction of a violent robber based on DNA evidence has been hailed a victory for forensic science.

Braintree thug Peter Dalton wore a balaclava and beat a train station car park attendant with a wooden stave, managing to steal £2,000 and leaving his victim badly bruised and shaken.

However, during the struggle, the car park attendant managed to pull Dalton’s balaclava off and scratch him across the face - leading to a breakthrough for forensic teams who were able to take swabs of DNA from beneath the victim’s fingernails, matching it with Dalton on the national database.

The 41-year-old, of no fixed abode, initially denied the offence, but later admitted his guilt in court. 

He has been jailed for five years. 

See Thursday's Braintree and Witham Times for the full story.