Kirsty Maxwell’s clothes were only examined ‘with the naked eye’

Kirsty Maxwell
Kirsty Maxwell
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FORENSIC experts have admitted Kirsty Maxwell’s clothes were not even examined using a microscope before being thrown away - following her fatal fall from a Benidorm balcony.

Officials from the forensic institute in Alicante, where Kirsty’s autopsy took place, admitted the pink T-shirt and denim skirt she was wearing when she died were only examined “with the naked eye”.

They also told a judge probing the 29-year-old from Livingston’s death that the clothes were destroyed because they had blood on them and that entailed a risk of contamination.

The revelation no microscopic testing of Kirsty’s clothes took place before they were binned will further anger Kirsty’s family, who earlier this week blasted Spanish forensic staff as “reckless” for not keeping them.

Kirsty’s legal team had placed high hopes on DNA tests on the clothes revealing whether there had been a struggle inside the tenth-floor apartment she fell from after entering it by mistake and finding five well-built British men inside.

READ MORE: Family of Kirsty Maxwell claim police destroyed her clothes

All five remain under investigation on suspicion of Kirsty’s homicide, although they have not been formally charged with any crime and have been allowed to return to the UK while the judicial probe continues.

Two Alicante-based forensic physicians admitted the 29-year-old Scot’s clothes were “discarded and destroyed” in a court statement.

Jose Manuel Munoz-Quiros Caballero and Miguel Angel Devesa Sais said after re-examining the work done after her death: “Once the garments she was wearing had been analysed macroscopically, they were discarded and destroyed.

“That was because they didn’t provide any further elements of interest to the investigation and were impregnated with traces of blood, with a resulting biological risk.”

The suggestion that the blood on Kirsty’s clothing should have been a contributing factor to the decision to destroy her clothes was immediately criticised by sources close to Kirsty’s family.

One said: “What the forensic physicians seem to be saying is that the blood on her clothes carries with it the risk of general contamination of any evidence but it’s totally irrelevant.

“On a shirt for instance there may be areas which are not affected by blood like the collar and where an attacker has grabbed it, there’s going to be times when it’s possible to obtain things like dead skin cells belonging to the assailant.”

Luis Miguel Zumaquero, the Spanish lawyer acting for Kirsty’s family, added: “We felt strongly the clothes were an important piece of evidence which is why we had sought information on their whereabouts and what DNA tests had been carried out on them.

READ MORE: Kirsty Maxwell in a ‘state of terror’ when she died, court hears

“Discovering they have been destroyed prior to any DNA tests taking place has been a hammer blow.”

Kirsty died on April 29 last year after plunging from apartment 10E at Apartamentos Payma in Benidorm’s famous Little England area.

She is thought to have walked into the apartment by mistake - as the British men inside finished a night of partying involving drink and drugs - after mistaking it for a friend’s when she woke up after a hen-do night out and left her room on the floor below.

Although any clues Kirsty’s clothes could have contained about what happened before she fell have been lost, it emerged today/yesterday (THURS) samples WERE taken from under her nails and other parts of her body including her hands and armpits.

The samples were taken during her autopsy on May 1 last year, but they are still at the Alicante forensic institute and will only be sent to a specialist lab in Barcelona at the investigating court’s request.

Neither the police or the state prosecutor have requested DNA testing on the samples.

READ MORE: Family of Kirsty Maxwell set up Facebook appeal page

Mr Zumaquero said: “Kirsty’s clothes were considered to be potentially a good piece of evidence and it’s not clear the samples that have been kept will contain any relevant DNA.

“But these are tests the police should have asked for as a matter of routine or the state prosecutor should have followed up on.

“We feel frustrated at what we see as a passive approach to this case by the police and state prosecutor who hasn’t yet asked for a single test during the entire investigation so far.”

Joseph Graham, 33, from Nottingham was the only man arrested after Kirsty’s death.

The four other men in the apartment with him, named afterwards as Ricky Gammon, 31, Anthony Holehouse, 34, Callum Northridge, 27, and Daniel Bailey, 32, were summonsed to appear in court in Benidorm last July.

They insisted they were innocent of any wrongdoing at a behind-closed-doors hearing.

They later said in a statement given to the Nottingham Post: “This was a tragic accident and we categorically deny any involvement in this unfortunate incident.

“It goes without saying that our deepest sympathy goes out to Kirsty’s family and our thoughts are with them al at this terrible time.”

David Swindle, 63, a former policeman who is assisting Kirsty’s husband Adam Maxwell and her mum Denise and Brian, said earlier this week the fact her clothes had been discarded showed “serious shortcomings in the investigation.”

Her father said he was “shocked and horrified” at the revelation.

The Alicante forensic institute - which answers to the Ministry of Justice and is officially known as the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences - has declined to make any official comment.

Kirsty’s family are still waiting to hear whether the investigating judge will sanction a reconstruction inside the apartment she fell from which is set to be led by Felix Rios, a criminologist who is helping with the case.