One of the reasons for the (deeply flawed in my view) successful prosecution in the Stephen Lawrence case was the “new” forensic evidence whereby a tiny drop of blood on a jacket (which none of the witnesses remembers the accused wearing) put the two accused at the scene of the crime. Despite the defences attempts to question whether the evidence might have been contaminated, the two men were found guilty and sentenced to a number of years in prison. I and many others expect them to be out on an appeal to the ECJ in a few months owing to a change in the double jeopardy law that was applied retrospectively in their case as it was repealed specifically to target them.
What I didn’t expect was this…
A Devon man wrongly accused of raping a woman in Manchester has spoken of his anger over a DNA mistake which led to the charge.
Charges were dropped against the man when it emerged that a DNA sample was contaminated in the laboratories of Teddington-based LGC Forensics.
The man also said he hoped that the real rapist would be caught.
LGC Forensics said it deeply regretted that forensic evidence was contaminated in one of its laboratories.
LGC Forensics were the company who provided the key forensic evidence in the Lawrence case…
Thanks to painstaking, meticulous scientific work, LGC, the UK’s largest independent provider of forensic services, helped the Metropolitan Police bring the killers of Stephen Lawrence to justice.
LGC’s approach to the case, combined with its innovation and expertise, led the forensic team to re-examine the entire case. This produced new evidence – including fibres from items of Stephen Lawrence’s clothing that transferred to his attackers’ clothes, and blood fragments found in the packaging in which clothing was kept during the initial investigation. Using technology not available at the time of the original investigation, the team was able to establish that a DNA profile from blood subsequently found on one of the killer’s jackets matched that of Stephen Lawrence.
Steve Allen, Managing Director of LGC Forensics said:
“I’m extremely proud of the work that LGC’s forensic scientists did on this case. Persistence, meticulous science and innovation can help convict criminals years after they committed the crime. This case shows that the key to successful forensics is to assume nothing – which is all the more important in historic cases like the murder of Stephen Lawrence. In this case, as well as in the murders of Damilola Taylor and Rachel Nickell, LGC has an extraordinary record of success – largely because we look for evidence that may not have been the object of the original search. We keep an open mind at all times.”
Well, strikes me that the only place they weren’t keeping an open mind was that their “found” evidence might just have been contaminated, because as I said, the place they found it was on an item neither of the accused were known to have been wearing at the time.
No, I’m not saying it was contaminated, though there was some doubt in the trial over the police care of the evidence and a split bag containing the item found to have the sample which had been kept with items from Lawrence himself.
However, I rather suspect this case will also be thrown into the appeal by Gary Dobson and David Norris.
I wonder to what lengths the Lawrence industry will go too if my suspicions are confirmed and Gary Dobson and David Norris are freed on appeal, after all, the law on double jeopardy has been revoked, so they are technically free to try again…