Pump Court

Prostitute murder acquittal

Cases 6 Feb 12

Michael Wolkind QC acted for the defendant, a local taxi driver, whose DNA was found in several places on the clothing and body of a sex-worker killed in 2005.

A “scientific breakthrough” allowed the prosecution to present odds of 1,000 billion to 1 that the samples came from DB rather than anyone else. They called an eminent Professor of genetic statistics who claimed he could calculate the probability even though he was dealing with a mixed profile of several contributors. Forensic scientists have not been able to produce figures in this situation.

Anne Marie Foy had been viciously beaten and strangled, then dragged into the undergrowth of woods in the Liverpool Red Light District. The DNA was recovered from her blouse where it had been ripped open, a bandage on her ankles where she had been dragged, and crucially on her fingernails.

The scientific evidence was heard over 5 days with Michael challenging the validity of the Professor’s model and, in any event, relying on innocent transfer to explain the findings if they were accurate. The Prosecution had also opened that DB’s distinctive striped taxi was in the area that evening and driven by him, as seen on CCTV. By the close of the evidence the Defence secured an admission that he was not the driver at the time.

Cases | 6 Feb 12

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