Footwear Mark Evidence
Footwear marks feature in many case types ranging from criminal damage and burglary through to murder cases. Footwear marks can be made in a wide range of substances from mud and dirt to blood. Marks can also appear as bruising on the bodies of victims of assault or on the inside of their clothing where it has come into contact with their skin. Some marks are not obviously visible to the naked eye and are visualised through powdering or chemical enhancement.
Comparison between a mark and a pair of shoes relating to a suspect is made in terms of pattern, pattern size, wear and fine detail such as damage. The comparison of features and interpretation of evidence in footwear mark cases is subjective and dependant on the examiner and the comparison which has been carried out.
It is always worthwhile instructing a defence examination of a footwear mark case. Previous defence instructions have flagged up issues not obvious at the outset such as:
- Alternative suspects not previously considered of importance
- Marks missed at the scene in support of the defence version of events
- Additional information relating to commonality of sole pattern which could have a bearing on the conclusion reached by the prosecution scientist
Several such instructions have resulted in the dismissal of charges. With their wide-ranging experience gained through working on numerous high-profile cases on behalf of both the prosecution and defence, footwear scientists at Forensic Access are ideally placed to consider these issues.
Footwear Mark Evidence Services
Forensic Access provides a wide range of footwear mark evidence services including:
- Examination of items for footwear marks
- Footwear mark comparison
- Case Review including a detailed re-examination of the prosecution case with limitations of case clearly defined
- Assessment of commonality of sole pattern of footwear
- Examination of additional marks not previously considered as relevant to case
- Comparison of additional footwear relating to potential alternative suspects not originally considered as part of the prosecution case
- Assessment of suitability of scene marks for examination including quality of photography and suitability of recovery methods used
- Identification of footwear patterns
Footwear Mark Evidence Expertise
Forensic Access boasts a world-class team of forensic scientists operating in state-of-the-art facilities. All of our footwear scientists have a minimum of 20 years’ experience in the field and all have worked on numerous major cases including high-profile murder and terrorist cases working for both the prosecution and defence. All forensic work is carried out to the highest Quality Standards (including ISO 17025).
All defence work is handled by dedicated Casework Managers who provide end-to-end support and streamlining. They provide a bespoke service and facilitate direct access to our team of scientists helping barristers and solicitors to get the very best results out of the examination to prepare the most effective defence strategy. All expert witness reports are thoroughly documented and peer reviewed. Our scientists aim to work to rapid turn-around times if dictated by court dates and will provide advice prior to instruction and following the completion of the report as required.
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