UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date: Mon 26 June 2006

Fingerprint experts get independent backing

The four fingerprint experts who identified the disputed fingerprint in the Marion Ross murder case as that of Shirley McKie, today heard independent fingerprint experts tell the Justice 1 Committee's enquiry into SCRO that they independently confirmed the identification of Shirley McKie's , and Marion Ross's disputed fingerprints at the time of the original murder trial.

Colleagues from within the SCRO Glasgow fingerprint Bureau also told the enquiry that a 'blind test' confirmed the original ident, and that no pressure had been put on staff to agree with their colleagues.

UNISON - the union that represents the staff at the bureau - said that this meant further steps had been made in proving that there had been no conspiracy. In a separate response UNISON, rejected the claims of 'professional negligence' against the SCRO staff, by another expert.

A UNISON spokesperson said: "The identifications from experts outwith the SCRO give the lie to any suggestion of a conspiracy or cover-up. It is surely inconceivable that independent experts - including the first expert instructed by the Mckie's themselves - are also part of some malicious plot."

Independent experts Peter Swann and Malcolm Graham who were appointed to check the original fingerprint identification by the McKie legal team and the team defending David Asbury respectively both independently confirmed the identifications of fingerprint Y7 and QI2.

Also present was independent expert John Berry who checked the marks after Peter Swann asked him to review his work, and came to the same conclusion. SCRO colleagues of the four experts - Alan Dunbar the Quality Assurance Officer, and Robert McKenzie, Deputy Head of Fingerprints, also gave evidence that after the Y7 fingerprint identification had been made, they were told to arrange for other experts to look at the fingerprint without knowing whose it was. All these identifications confirmed the original.

Colleague Alistair Geddes - who was the expert who was unable to find the full 16 point standard needed for court in the print Y7 - confirmed to the Committee that no pressure had been put on him within the Bureau to sign off the identification, and that he was personally convinced that the identification of the experts was correct, despite being able to find only 10 points of agreement.

On the evidence presented by John McLeod, the UNISON spokesperson said: "It cannot be professional negligence when these other experts made the same identification The Pass Report (also issued today) supports the SCRO identification on another previously disputed mark and the Metropolitan Police have previously found the SCRO to be accurate in a different case that John McLeod misidentified. The McLeod report is another example of the division between experts on the identification of mark Y7."

In previous evidence to the committee McLeod was identified as the expert who made a palmprint misidentification in another SCRO case along with other experts. These others subsequently admitted they got it wrong after the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was a proper identification by the SCRO experts.


For Further Information Please Contact: Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 07715 583 729(m) or 07958 120 676(m) Des McNulty MSP 07714 450 850(m) Ken Macintosh MSP 07971 961 158(m)