THE forensic science labs where detailed DNA profiling led to thousands of convictions including that of the Dearne ‘shoe rapist’ have been closed.
Over 150 experts worked at the Wetherby laboratories that identified crucial evidence during many high-profile cases from both this country and across the world.
But after 35 years, its work has now been split between various police forces and private companies as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
Dearne rapist and printing firm manager James Lloyd of Thurnscoe, eluded police until he was finally caught out by DNA samples in 2006.
He terrorised an area from Rotherham to Barnsley in the mid 1980s, and stashed 100 pairs of stilettos as trophies.
He was picked up when DNA from his sister (arrested on a separate matter) was matched to samples taken from the scenes of crime.
Shoe fetishist Lloyd later admitted raping four women along with the attempted rape of two others and was jailed for life.
In 2007 his minimum custodial sentence was cut to seven years, 263 days. His conviction was seen as a huge victory in a ‘cold case’ investigation.