|Posted on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 03:55 pm: ||
As you may be aware Allan Bayle, Pat Wertheim , David Grieve and Arie Zeelenberg faced with SCRO’s refusal to admit making any mistakes in the Shirley McKie or David Asbury cases and their continued assertion that they are right and the rest of the world wrong have petitioned the Scottish Parliament as follows:
‘We believe that the best way to resolve the matters we raise is to commission a fingerprint expert of world renown to examine them and therefore respectfully suggest that the relevant committee of the Scottish Parliament seeks the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to obtain the services of one of the world’s foremost fingerprint experts, Staff Sergeant David Ashbaugh, in this regard.
The Scottish Parliament is also petitioned to commission Mr Ashbaugh to outline what lessons can be learned regarding openness and accountability within the Scottish Criminal Records Office and how procedures for handling mistakes as outlined in recommendations of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary enquiry can best be developed.’
This petition is now being considered by the Scottish Parliament.
As a family we are extremely grateful to these experts for their efforts in seeking to bring SCRO to account among the wider fingerprint community.
Shirley’s civil action against the Scottish Executive for the harm she suffered at the hands of the SCRO is still being discussed by both sets of lawyers. As ever the wheels of ‘justice’ grind ‘exceeding slow’ and it looks as if we might yet enter a 7th year in our struggle to have her compensated for the trauma and loss of career.
There has been an interesting development in the Alan McNamara case.
I attended an appeal application in the High Courts of Justiciary in London last week where three Law Lords granted Alan the right to an appeal against the actions of Greater Manchester Police Fingerprint Bureau and Scenes of Crimes Department that led to his being jailed for two and a half years.
His bid for an appeal was successful despite the vigorous opposition of the Greater Manchester Police legal representatives
I am now aware of other cases developing in the UK where appeals are being made against convictions based on fingerprint evidence and where that evidence is being subjected to much closer analysis and challenge.
I still struggle to understand why the UK fingerprint establishment refuses to intervene and continues to adopt the ‘head in the sand’ attitude that has condemned my daughter and other innocent people to years of struggle and heartache.
If a stand is not taken and the dishonest and inefficient rooted out irreparable damage will be caused to your profession and to the wider forensic science community.
With the festive season a few short weeks away may I take this opportunity on behalf of Shirley and our family to wish the many experts across the world who have voiced their support, peace, health and happiness now and into the New Year.