Jack the Ripper was held by police in Hove before being freed and his identity remained a secret for more than 100 years.

That is the claim of author Russell Edwards, who says he has found proof that Polish hairdresser Aaron Kosminski was the serial killer.

Mr Edwards has seen tests on DNA found on a shawl belonging to ripper victim Catherine Eddowes.

According to Mr Edwards’ book, Naming Jack The Ripper, Kosminski was held under guard at the Convalescent Police Seaside Home in Clarendon Villas, Hove, after killing Eddowes, 46.

While there he was identified by cigarette salesman Joseph Lavender, 40, who saw him with Miss Eddowes shortly before she died.

Police were sure Kosminski was Jack the Ripper and responsible for the murders of up to 11 prostitutes in London but could not find enough evidence to prosecute.

Ripperologists have linked Jack to Hove for years but Mr Edwards claims to have the first scientific proof.

He said: “No doubt a slew of books and films will now emerge to speculate on his personality and motivation.

“I have no wish to do so. I wanted to provide real answers using scientific evidence and I’m overwhelmed that, 126 years on, I have solved the mystery.

“Using an infrared camera, we were able to tell the dark stains were not just blood, but consistent with arterial blood spatter caused by slashing – exactly the grim death Catherine Eddowes had met.

“But the next revelation was the most heart-stopping. Under UV photography, a set of fluorescent stains showed up which had the characteristics of semen.

“I had never expected to find evidence of the Ripper, so this was thrilling, although more testing was required before any conclusions could be drawn.”

Ten years ago, Ripper author AP Wolf studied number 51, Clarendon Villas.

Mr Wolf told The Argus in 2004 that the house was a one-time seaside police convalescent home.

He said that in 1910, Chief Inspector Swanson, who was in charge of the Ripper probe, said that a suspect had been arrested and held in a lunatic asylum.

The only person who could identify him was in the convalescent home so the suspect was taken to Brighton.

Mr Wolf said the officer unhesitatingly identified him as Jack the Ripper.