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The killer caught by his fingerprint in blood at North Wales murder scene

This is the moment a killer is told he has been caught after his fingerprint was found in blood at a murder scene.

The police CCTV shows suspect Jake Melia being told about the “very, very rare” discovery made by forensic specialists investigating the murder of Mark Mason in the Home Bargains car park in Rhyl in October 2016.

Now detectives and police staff have told the ITV Wales programme Crime Files how they used forensics and CCTV pictures to link Melia, 21, and three other members of a Liverpool drugs ring to the murder.

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Father of two Mark Mason, 48, was repeatedly stabbed as he sat in the passenger seat of a white van during what is thought to have been a turf war between rival drugs gangs.

Det Supt Iestyn Davies of North Wales Police told ITV Wales:

“It was ferocious. It happened extremely quickly and he had no chance of surviving.

“Mark Mason couldn’t escape from that van and in thirty seconds he was stabbed over 20 times and died of those injuries.”

“The injuries themselves would clearly show that there was an intent here to kill.”

The programme shows how police used multiple CCTV cameras and automatic number plate recognition to track the attackers’ black BMW car as it travelled from Liverpool to Rhyl and back the same evening. But it then vanished.

Presenter Andrea Byrne also meets Crime Scene Investigator Emma Roberts.

Roberts explains how fingerprints from all four members of the Liverpool gang were found on Mark Mason’s white van.

But it was the discovery of Melia’s print in blood inside the vehicle that was the most unusual discovery.

“There was what we call ‘ridge detail’, which is essentially part of your fingerprint,” says Roberts.

“It was present within blood and the ridge detail, the fingerprint which was found within the blood came back to the suspect Melia.”

The Crime Scene Investigator called the discovery “very, very rare.”

The programme shows Melia being confronted with the evidence in a police video interview.

Pictured: Jake Melia

“That fingerprint is not just simply a mark left behind by a sweaty finger,” an officer tells the killer.

“It’s actually a mark left behind in blood.

“Blood has got onto your finger and then your finger has put that print, your fingerprint, on the inside, inside passenger door, centimetres from where Mr Mason lay dead.”

“Can you explain that to me?”

Melia offers no explanation in the recording used in the programme but later pleaded guilty to murder.  A jury, sitting at Mold Crown court convicted James Davies, 20, of murder. Anthony Baines, 30 and Mark Ennis, 31 were convicted of manslaughter. All four men were from Liverpool.

“Activities such as what happened to Mark Mason can’t be tolerated within our communities, within our society and we will be robust with anyone who commits such acts of atrocity,” added Det Supt Iestyn Davies.

Pictured: Mark Mason

Mark Mason had been battling heroin addiction for many years.  His family says he has left a huge hole in their lives.

“He got involved in drugs and his life spiralled out of control.   He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.” concluded Det Supt Davies.

Crime Files will be broadcast on ITV Wales on Monday 3rd September at 8pm.

It will then be available at itv.com/walesprogrammes