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)