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3D Printed Bottle Used as Evidence in Murder Trial

A 3D printed bottle became to be the critical evidence used in a Plymouth murder trial.

Lee Dent, now convicted of murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison, attacked and killed the 17-year-old Alex Peguero Sosa with a glass bottle in June 2014. Claiming it was self-defense, the prosecution wanted him to demonstrate how he held the bottle to reveal his lie.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Ian Ringrose explained: “We needed an exact replica but you cannot hand a potential weapon like a glass bottle to a person suspected of a violent offence while they are giving evidence in the dock. We knew there was this technology to print up 3D items.”

The investigation team turned to Plymouth City College staff, who then designed and 3D printed an exact replica of the murder weapon on their CubeX 3D printer. “We worked into the evening and over the weekend to make sure the replica weapon was ready for the court demonstration on the Monday morning.”

A spokesman of Plymouth City College said: “It was the first time that Devon and Cornwall Police had used this technological process in a court case.”

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