FORMER teacher Sion Jenkins today claimed he has identified a possible new suspect for the murder of his teenage foster daughter 11 years after her killing at the family home.

Jenkins, who lives in Lymington, claims he spoke to who he thought was a dark-haired, plain-clothed police officer in his hallway in the confused hour after Billie-Jo Jenkins was found bludgeoned to death.

But now, coinciding with the publication of his book, the Murder of Billie-Jo Jenkins, Jenkins says he believes he may have come face to face with her murderer.

Billie-Jo, 13, was found in a pool of blood with head injuries inflicted by a metal tent peg on the patio of the family's large Victorian home in Lower Park Road, Hastings, East Sussex, on February 15, 1997.

Jenkins, at the time head teacher-designate at all-boys William Parker School in Hastings, has maintained his innocence and insisted Billie-Jo must have been killed by an intruder while he visited a DIY store.

In 1998 he was convicted at Lewes Crown Court of murdering her and jailed for life but had a retrial in 2005 after successfully appealing.

However, the jury failed to agree a verdict and a second retrial ended the same way in 2006, allowing him to walk free.

Jenkins said it had struck him while writing the book that the man he described as spoke to in his hallway had never been traced. He added that he would like the police to issue a photo-fit and find him.

Sussex Police said today it would not comment directly on the book.

Sources have said that after such an exhaustive investigation and legal process any new evidence surfacing seems a remote possibility.

A central part of the case focused on a fine mist of microscopic blood spots found on Jenkins' clothes.

The Crown claimed the blood sprayed on to him as he bludgeoned her in a fit of temper, but the defence argued the spots came from bubbles of blood exhaled from Billie-Jo's airways as he cradled her.

Jenkins, 49, who lives with his second wife, Tina, insists there was never the window of opportunity open to him to murder Billie-Jo, who would be 25 now.

Following the killing, his ex-wife, Lois, emigrated to Tasmania with their four daughters, Annie, Charlotte, Esther and Maya, who have chosen to have no contact with their father.