Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic science expertise to the defence (Criminal Defence Service, solicitors, barristers), the prosecution (police and other forensic science providers), industry and private individuals from highly qualified and skilled forensic scientists Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic science expertise in trace evidence (glass, paint, fibres, other particulates to the defence (Criminal Defence Service, solicitors, barristers), the prosecution (police and other forensic science providers), industry and private individuals from highly qualified and skilled forensic scientists Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic science expertise to the defence (Criminal Defence Service, solicitors, barristers), the prosecution (police and other forensic science providers), industry and private individuals from highly qualified and skilled forensic scientists Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic science expertise and training to the defence (Criminal Defence Service, solicitors, barristers), the prosecution (police and other forensic science providers), industry and private individuals from highly qualified and skilled forensic scientists - UK and overseas Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic DNA examination, recovery and profiling expertise to the defence (Criminal Defence Service, solicitors, barristers), the prosecution (police and other forensic science providers), industry and private individuals from highly qualified and skilled DNA forensic scientists Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic science expertise in major crime and volume crime to the defence (Criminal Defence Service, solicitors, barristers), the prosecution (police and other forensic science providers), industry and private individuals from highly qualified and skilled forensic scientists Forensic Access - independent forensic scientists providing quality accredited forensic science expertise to the Criminal Defence Service through solicitors and barristers. Forensic Access: highly qualified and skilled forensic scientists working from our own forensic science laboratories, at the crime scene or at other forensic science providers premises

Re-testing items and examining/testing items not previously examined

Re-examining and re-testing items previously investigated by the prosecution, should be considered in all defence cases, especially for cases involving major crime.

The need for forensic re-examination and re-testing

In these times of cost cutting and producitsed forensic procurement, it is very likely that the police and prosecution may only select a small number of exhibits from a larger pool within a case to submit for forensic examination. In addition, due to time and cost constraints, only a small number of areas on an item may be tested and if this yields a “no result” it is likely that no further tests will be performed.

The police screening of exhibits, in their own laboratories, is now growing and they are likely to select, for detailed analysis, the items which they believe will best support their case. There may well be forensic evidence on the remaining items that supports the defendant’s version of events.

It is important that the defence and the defence forensic scientist have the opportunity of seeing a full list of all exhibits in a case and then recommending a defence forensic strategy, which may involve examining and testing items or areas not previously examined by the prosecution.

Are you sure?

These are all questions that defence solicitors and barristers should consider seriously when examining the prosecution’s forensic work. The results of re-testing have been shown on many occasions to support a completely different hypothesis than that presented by the prosecution.

Benefits to the defence

Of course, most of the prosecution forensic science providers have ISO 17025 accreditation (due to police procurement programs) but this accreditation doesn’t account for a number of factors that can make re-testing necessary. For example:

Case Example

Forensic Access was asked to assist the defence in a rape case.  The complainant and the defendant were together during the evening, but the defendant stated he had not had sex with the complainant. However, the complainant’s DNA was found, in large quantities, on the swabs taken from the defendant’s penis. Transfer of the DNA could have occurred during sexual intercourse, or could have transferred from the defendant’s hands during a visit to the toilet. The prosecution scientist reported that there was “extremely strong” scientific support for them having had sexual intercourse. In his Statement the defendant said that he had washed his hands after being in contact with the complainant. This seemed to support the prosecution scientist’s assumption, as the defendant could not then have transferred the complainant’s DNA from his hands to his penis. The prosecution scientist had NOT analysed the swabs taken from the defendant’s hands.

Forensic Access, however, did perform DNA profiling tests on the swabs taken from the defendant’s hands. We found a large amount of the complainant’s DNA was present.  Being presented with these new results, the prosecution scientist then changed his opinion to agree with that of our scientist which was that the DNA profiling results in the case didn’t support one version of events over the other.

Forensic Access and re-testing

Forensic Access is ideally placed to carry out re-testing work:

Contact Forensic Access

If you want to find out more about the possibilities and benefits of re-testing, or to discuss a case, please contact Forensic Access.

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Forensic Expertise

Anthropology and archaeology » Appeals » Blood and body fluids » Blood pattern analysis - BPA » CCTV » Cell site analysis » Computers, digital devices and internet crime, including mobile phone and cell site analysis » Condom lubricant analysis » Crime scenes » Damage to clothing, etc. » DNA profiling » Documents » Drugs / substances of abuse » Drugs: contamination of banknotes, mobile phones, vehicles, etc. » Fibres » Fingerprints (including enhancement) » Firearms, ballistics, wound ballistics » Fires and explosions » Glass » Hairs » Handwriting » Marks enhancement (tools, tyres, etc.) » Oils, greases and waxes » Paints » Pathology (including post mortems and injuries) » Photography (including crime scenes) » Questioned documents » Sexual offences » Shoes and shoe marks » Tool and manufacturing marks » Toxicology » Trace evidence » Vehicle tyres and their marks

 

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