Murder victim Meredith Kercher was stabbed from behind while she was kneeling with her face pushed into the floor, an Italian court heard.

The Coulsdon student was found in her room with her throat cut in Perugia, Italy in November 2007.

She was studying in the country on an exchange programme for a year.

Fellow student, American Amanda Knox, 21, and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, are accused of murdering her because she refused to take place in a drug-fuelled orgy.

They deny the charge.

Expert Dr Francesco Camana told the court the blood pattern showed when Miss Kercher was fatally knifed in the throat she was no more than 40cm from the floor.

He said: “She was kneeling down facing the wardrobe, her face pressed almost to the floor, with her chest pushed forward and her legs behind her.”

The court in Perugia had been told earlier Miss Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of a kitchen knife while Miss Kercher’s DNA was on the tip.

The traces were found on the black-handled kitchen knife, which the court was told is compatible with the murder weapon, after it was found at Sollecito's flat.

The court has also been told Mr Sollecito’s DNA was discovered on a bra clasp belonging to Miss Kercher which was found at the scene.

Defence lawyers claim the DNA evidence is tainted.

The trial is expected to last until the end of this year.