MALE DNA found on the jumper of Elisa Claps was likely to have been blood rather than saliva, the Heather Barnett murder trial heard today.

Italian forensics expert Colonel Giampietro Lago of the Carabinieri told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that exhaustive tests had been conducted on the remaining material found when Elisa's body was discovered last year.

He said part of the jumper was DNA rich with both male and female components and there was so much of it that the source could only have been bodily fluid rather than flakes of skin.

Colonel Lago said semen had been discounted leaving only the possibility of blood or saliva.

"In my experience given all the circumstances, it is most likely to have been blood. I am highly confident of that," he told the court.

Danilo Restivo 39, denied the murder of Heather Barnett in November 2002. He admits meeting Elisa Claps on the day she disappeared in Potenza, Italy, in 1993 but claims she was alive and well when he left her at their local church.

The jury has previously heard how Restivo was treated for a cut hand later that day.

The defence does not dispute that the DNA on Elisa's remains matches that of Restivo, but disagrees with the prosecution's case on the source of the material.

The trial continues.