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Criminal casework

Criminal casework

DNA, pathology, CCTV, drugs, toxicology and more.

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Driving offences, post mortem toxicology, civil cases or workplace testing.

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Kinship. paternity, and criminal casework.

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Having completed thousands of criminal cases in several countries, inevitably we come across many interesting matters arising from some of those cases. These 'Matters Arising' may be of interest to the wider forensic, scientific, legal, and indeed general community. We provide them to further the cause of 'better science, better justice'.

Naturally, we see only a tiny proportion of the cases that may provide important learning points, so if you have a case that you think provides and interesting Matter Arising, please email us via our contact page and we will consider presenting it on these pages.

Exhumation solves long-running kinship dispute

One of our more unusual kinship cases involved the exhumation of a deceased man to establish whether two claimnts were indeed his daughters.

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Drugs on money evidence ruled inadmissible

We have continually argued that nothing can be inferred from the presence or quantity of drugs found on banknotes.  In 2016, Professor Jamieson of TFI appeared in a voir dire at Liverpool Crown Court.  The judge ruled the evidence from MSA Ltd inadmissible. 

Extracts of judgement>>

A light touch

This case involved the presentation of what was alleged to be a fraudulently created till receipt.  We examined the receipt to see if we could detect the most likely difference between a genuine and a forged receipt - the use of ink by the forger, rather than the heat-sensitive method used to produce some of the text on the genuine till receipt. 

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CCTV exclusion

In many cases, the best that can be said is that it is not possible to identify anyone.  In this case, we were able to exclude the defendant on the basis of one moment from the CCTV recording.

 

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Confusion in Court on LCN/LTDNA profiles

The potential for misunderstanding of one Court following the judgment of another without the full knowledge of the facts and nuances that led to the published judgment are evidenced between the cases of Reed & Garmson in the Appeal Court in England and Wales, and the case of Wallace in New Zealand. This article illustrates how confusion has arisen and clarifies the issue with respect to Low Template (LTDNA) or Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA profiles.

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DNA and 'Expert systems'

Recent trials involving LCN or Low Template DNA in which we have been involved have seen the introduction of statistics using complex and not widely accepted computer programmes to produce statistics for profiles that the DNA expert has been unable to calculate using conventional methods.  The interpretation of such profiles remains controversial with various approaches being proposed.

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Fingerprints

The report and recommendations of the Fingerprint Inquiry in the case of Shirley McKie has finally emerged. The report will join the very few that will have international and important repercussions for forensic practice. The Forensic Institute welcome the main findings of the report.

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