As medical professionals forensic pathologists are undoubtedly best placed to comment on criminal cases of violent crime where the victim is not dead, but has sustained injuries, allegedly from a violent attack or some form of physical abuse.
Criminal cases of violent crime will often involve two very different versions of events and it is essential for the defence case that all questions surrounding the event are robustly addressed and that the evidence is interpreted correctly.
Whether as a result of your client's testimony, other available evidence or eye witness accounts, if there is any reason to suspect that the victim sustained the alleged injuries in a way which differs from the account put forward by the prosecution then the defence counsel should request the services of our Home Office Authorised Forensic Pathologist.
In relation to a case involving violent crime or alleged abuse, a review of the evidence could reveal information that supports the defendant’s version of events or re-affirms parts of the initial findings supporting the prosecution's case, or leads to alternative conclusions and questions which give reason to doubt the victim’s version of events.
These cases usually revolve around examination of photographs of the injuries sustained by the victim and possibly the defendant. It is the forensic pathologist’s task (based on photographic evidence, medical reports and eye witness accounts) to provide an opinion on whether the findings are consistent with the victim's or the defendant's version of events leading to the injury or whether they cannot say one way or the other.
Were the wounds inflicted by a right handed or a left handed person?
What was the type and characteristics of the weapon used in the incident?
Are the injuries consistent with the version of events put forward by the prosecution?
Are the injuries consistent with the version of events put forward by the defendant?
How long ago were the injuries sustained?
Are there any alternative explanations as to how the injuries were sustained?