Oddly Enough

Robber pleads guilty after leech provides DNA

An expert inspects a leech after it was used on a patient at the International Medical Leech Centre in the village of Udelnoye, some 30 kms from Moscow, December 23, 2003. REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian man faces jail for armed robbery after police used blood from a leech to make a DNA match from a 2001 crime scene, a court spokeswoman said on Monday.

Peter Alec Cannon, 54, pleaded guilty to aggravated armed robbery in the Supreme Court in Launceston on the island state of Tasmania on Monday.

Crown prosecutor John Ransom told the court that a policeman had picked up a leech from near a safe at the scene of the crime from which forensic scientists extracted blood and a DNA sample, according to a report in local newspaper The Mercury.

Seven years later, when Cannon was arrested and charged with a drugs crime, police took a DNA sample from him and it matched the sample from the robbery.

The court heard that Cannon and another man had robbed and assaulted a 71-year-old woman at her bushland home, stealing $500 from her.

The court spokeswoman said Cannon was remanded in custody for sentencing on Friday this week.

Editing by Sugita Katyal