Skip to main content
 
 
 

DNA evidence – what is the value of an SFR1 ‘DNA Match Report’?

DNA evidence – what is the value of an SFR1 ‘DNA Match Report’?

DNA evidence - what is the value of an SFR1 DNA match report?

The application of Streamlined Forensic Reporting for DNA profiling, particularly in rape and serious sexual offences, is problematic and needs careful consideration if miscarriages of justice are to be avoided.

A Streamlined Forensic Report Stage 1 ‘DNA match’ (SFR1 DNA match report) gives the results of DNA profiling.  It will indicate the type of DNA profiling undertaken for both the recovered and reference samples, and give an indication of whether the resulting recovered profile was mixed with more than one contributor.  An SFR1 DNA match report is intended to be a case progression tool, not evidence in its own right.

Only a tiny proportion of cases progress from an SFR1 DNA match report to an SFR2 DNA evaluation report, in which an expert has assessed the evidential value of that match.  Effectively, therefore, for the majority of cases, in which SFR1 DNA match reports are accepted and SFR2 reports are not prepared, there is an evidential value being assumed by the recipients of SFR1 DNA match reports.  From a scientific standpoint, a DNA profile match will have no evidential value until its evaluation in the case context indicates that it does have.  The relevance of contextual issues in relation to DNA profiling evidence are set out in a publication by The Royal Society, ‘Primer: Forensic DNA analysis’[1]. Evaluation requires expert knowledge of the context and available research.

Acceptance by the defence of an SFR 1 means the prosecution do not seek any further expert opinion by SFR2.  In accepting an SFR1, however, it is important for the defence to be precise about exactly what is accepted and to avoid inadvertent acceptance of a whole raft of assumptions and inferences that might seem to flow from the test result.  Ideally, prosecutors should demonstrate evidential significance, by expert evidence if necessary, rather than allow maximum pro-prosecution value to be inferred which may then require the defence to prove otherwise.

Ultimately, courts need to be satisfied that the DNA which matches a defendant was in a quantity and type of cellular material which fits with an allegation, and was transferred at the time and in the manner alleged; none of which is indicated by an SFR1.  A full matching DNA profile can provide compelling evidence in some contexts and be evidentially valueless in others, or sit somewhere in between.  If a DNA profile match cannot, in itself, prove an allegation, then it follows that the degree to which it might support that allegation is dictated by the likelihood of obtaining the same result from other circumstances.  Accurate evidential evaluation depends on assessing the limitations of the sampling and testing, and the extent to which the result could have arisen from other stated or reasonable alternative circumstances.

Our recommendation to defence lawyers is to be explicit that acceptance of an SFR1 DNA match report does not include acceptance that it necessarily corroborates an allegation or deems acceptance of a prosecution lawyer’s inferences.  Thereafter, its uncertainty may be dealt with by instructing forensic experts.  We can establish the source and location of the underlying scientific data and disclosure can be obtained, allowing expert evaluation of the DNA profiling result within the context of the case.

By all means, choose to accept an SFR1 DNA match report as an accurate test result – but no more than that. 

Dr Duncan Woods

[1] https://royalsociety.org/~/media/about-us/programmes/science-and-law/royal-society-forensic-dna-analysis-primer-for-courts.pdf

Subscribe To Mailing List

To unsubscribe click here

What our customers say...

  • Julian Dunnill’s professionalism is very, very good. His knowledge is without parallel.

    Solicitor – September 2017.
  • Mrs Tweedy was extremely professional, expert and helpful.

    Senior Counsel - April 2017.
  • Many years ago, when working for another firm, we regularly consulted yourselves and always received an outstanding service.  It’s good to find that after probably 25+ years, your standards have not slipped.

    Solicitor – March 2018
  • Mr Donnelly was extremely helpful and the report was prepared very promptly.

    Solicitor - January 2017.
  • The attention to detail in Mr Tarpey’s preparation and his knowledge of the case shone through when he was cross-examined.

    Senior Counsel – February 2018
  • Highly professional service; exceeded a very tight deadline.

    Solicitor - June 2017.
  • Very efficient and helpful to deal with.

    Solicitor - January 2017.
  • Please thank Richard Brown very much for the rapid turn round of this report.

    Solicitor – March 2018
  • Julian Dunnill was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. I will definitely recommend him as an expert.

    Counsel – October 2017
  • Speed, efficiency and accuracy.

    Solicitor – June 2018
  • Expert always contactable and very helpful (Alan Henderson).

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Everyone concerned went out of their way to provide an extremely prompt and efficient service.

    Solicitor - January 2017.
  • Ultimately, the mere fact that we had instructed yourselves as experts and the difficulties the police had … in my view went some way towards convincing the CPS that they needed to review the case and ultimately discontinue it.

    Solicitor – April 2018
  • Always a good service.

    Solicitor – September 2018
  • Excellent expertise, helpful service and quick turnaround.

    Solicitor – October 2017
  • Dr Helen Davey was, as always, excellent. From her initial report to her attendance at a conference and court. Her expertise is apparent and her ability to explain difficult issues is outstanding.

    Counsel – August 2018
  • Alan Henderson is a leading expert in his field and I have used him for a number of serious cases over the years.

    Solicitor - November 2017
  • Guy Cooper’s written report, oral evidence and the manner in which he presented it were instrumental in achieving a successful outcome to the matter.

    Counsel - January 2017.
  • Fab service from your Ross Donnelly & Mark Henderson - thank you.

    Counsel – March 2018
  • Everyone who works at KBC is extremely friendly and helpful. The reports are always quality.

    Solicitor - February 2017.
  • I use KBC regularly and trust the results.

    Solicitor - April 2017.
  • I prefer your company because you are relatively local and approachable.

    Solicitor – March 2018
  • I found your expert extremely pleasant and she gave her evidence confidently and knowledgably.

    Solicitor - January 2017.
  • Attentive. Quick. Professional.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • Cost effective, reliable and professional.

    Solicitor – October 2017
  • We have been extremely impressed with your work throughout the entire course of the proceedings.

    Solicitor - November 2017
  • Speedy, efficient and professional as always!

    Solicitor – March 2018
  • Alan Henderson is always contactable, his work is always impeccable and juries have always liked him.

    Solicitor - November 2017
  • Thank you for writing the report so quickly. Very helpful.

    Solicitor – August 2018
  • Competitive price – within LAA Standards; approachable, polite staff and great expert.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Very thorough report.

    Solicitor – June 2018
  • As always, your firm goes out of its way to assist.  Together with the high standards of reports, it is why I have used your firm since the 1980’s.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • Thank you very, very much - impeccable service as per usual.

    Solicitor – April 2018
  • Helen Davey’s report is excellent, as are all the reports that she has written for us.  She is always very willing to provide advice and answer questions and is also a very nice person.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • Very good.

    Counsel – May 2018
  • We were impressed by the quality of the report and competitive cost.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • You are considered the ‘go to’ expert service within our firm.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • High quality reports.

    Solicitor - January 2017.
  • Richard Brown was excellent and his professional manner/quality of evidence won the day for us - compared with the prosecution expert! Quality counts!

    Solicitor - June 2018
  • Lee Fagan was a pleasure to work with: very straightforward and thorough.

    Solicitor – October 2017
  • It is about professionalism, efficiency, attention to detail, courtesy and kindness.  It is a very, very long time since I have dealt with any group that was as quick to respond and as efficient as you all were.

    Private Client – April 2018
  • Excellent service from Alan Henderson and his report assisted me in cross examining the Crown witness.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • Quick, efficient, approachable expert (Mr Fagan), with excellent communication skills.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Responsive, fast turnaround, quality reports, legal aid rates.

    Solicitor - April 2018
  • Mr Farley was exceptionally good in the witness box and very robust under cross examination. I would not hesitate to instruct him again.

    Counsel – May 2018
  • Always our first choice due to the assistance given.

    Solicitor - May 2017.
  • What is particularly helpful is the opening of other avenues of enquiry which hadn't been previously considered.

    Solicitor - June 2017.
  • Very prompt professional service.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • We have worked with you for a number of years and find your work accurate and reliable.

    Solicitor – April 2018
  • Ease of communication, rapid response to queries.

    Solicitor - March 2017.
  • No improvement needed.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • Quick and clear report.

    Solicitor - March 2017.
  • Great report - it really shows off your skills compared to the prosecution (so-called) experts. Thanks so much.

    Counsel - June 2018
  • Outstanding.  Mr Prime was conscious of duty but compelling in his approach to the evidence.

    Counsel – April 2018
  • We have used you many times before and have never been anything but entirely satisfied. We will continue to do so.

    Solicitor – June 2018
  • Very good testimony on all accounts; measured and reasonable.  There is nothing I would change about Mr Dunnill’s evidence or manner in giving it.

    Counsel - January 2018
  • Impressed with all aspects – knowledge, presentation, lines of communication.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • We were kept continually up to date about the progress of the report.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • Have used you before and always found you efficient and easy to deal with.

    Solicitor – August 2018
  • We are especially impressed by the Expert's willingness to discuss a case over the telephone before a formal instruction and the fast turnaround for completion of reports.

    Solicitors – June 2018
  • Gave a very knowledgeable and detailed account which no doubt assisted in securing the successful appeal.

    Counsel, November 2017
  • Reliable and trustworthy.

    Solicitor – August 2018
  • Quick, accurate and easy to speak to expert instructed (Mr Tarpey).

    Solicitor - December 2017
  • Always reliable; thorough reports.

    Solicitor – September 2017.
  • I cannot speak more highly of the quality of the report.  Mr Prime is now my ‘go to’ expert.

    Solicitor – September 2018
  • Used KBC for years; always found you efficient and helpful.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • Mr Armstrong delivered clear and cogent evident and was an impressive witness.

    Solicitor - May 2017.
  • Easy to read report.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • Keep doing what you do.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • Communication overall was excellent.

    Coroner’s Office - May 2017.
  • That is a very good statement; please thank Ms Kiernan for me.

    Solicitor - December 2017
  • Your firm remains my first choice for collision expert reports.

    Solicitor - November 2017
  • I don't know what you are paying Alan Henderson, but I'd say it isn't enough.

    Solicitor - November 2017
  • Mr Tarpey was very helpful and approachable; he made a complex matter very simple for the jury.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • Good quality work.

    Solicitor - December 2017
  • We’ve had years of excellent service from you.

    Solicitor – August 2018
  • Excellent reputation.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • John Tarpey is straightforward, robust, likeable (generally and in the presentation of his evidence) and very knowledgeable about his subject.

    Bedfordshire Police – August 2017.
  • Extremely prompt responses and case very well managed.

    Solicitor - April 2017.
  • I have previously attended a demonstration of the techniques used by the experts at Keith Borer Consultants.  What they can achieve is genuinely astonishing.  I require my instructing solicitor to immediately contact Keith Borer Consultants and seek out their assistance.

    Colin Buckle, Barrister – September 2018
  • Mark Henderson was always available to discuss the case.

    Solicitor - June 2017.
  • Thank you so much for your impeccable service.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • Report prepared well and is a format we could understand. Written in a way that the lay person can understand.

    Solicitor – June 2018
  • Mr Bunter was fantastic.

    Solicitor – February 2018
  • Instant reply on whether they can help or not; excellent with keeping us updated; fantastic report.

    Solicitor - April 2018
  • Used you many times previously and the service is always exceptional.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Amazing!

    Counsel – July 2018
  • You have always been excellent.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • Very approachable.

    Solicitor - May 2017.
  • Adrian Armstrong was excellent both in terms of the quality of his report and his general approach.

    Solicitor - March 2017.
  • I was impressed by the time and detail taken in producing the proposal of (cell site analysis) work which made it really easy to understand how the service was going to help us.

    London Borough of Brent Council - December 2017
  • KBC’s efficiency never ceases to amaze me!

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Mr Tarpey was very knowledgeable about this subject and explained well.

    Police Scotland – August 2017.
  • Reading through your website gave us confidence.

    Private Client - May 2017.
  • Able to act fast and produce good reports for the court.

    Solicitor - May 2017.
  • Mr Armstrong was a pleasure to work with, extremely professional and generous with his time and expertise.

    Solicitor - April 2017.
  • Responded efficiently with clear advice.

    Solicitor - December 2017
  • Compassionate and professional attitude.

    Private client – March 2018
  • Very quick response to both our initial email enquiry and all emails. Helpful and approachable staff and experts.

    Solicitor – August 2018
  • Will definitely use KBC again.

    Solicitor - May 2017.
  • Prompt, succinct, communicative and pleasant to deal with.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Quick, knowledgeable and easy to deal with.

    Solicitor – July 2017.
  • Richard Brown’s knowledge of the subject matter was excellent, his report clear and detailed, and his explanations … instilled confidence.  I would happily use him again.

    Counsel – February 2018
  • Always very quick, but also thorough and well written. Always very professional.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • Superb outcome in the case ... as a direct result of Mr Prime discussing matters with his counterpart.  Very, very impressive.  Good, too, with the client.

    Counsel – April 2018
  • Have used several times previously and always had excellent service from Keith Borer Consultants.

    Solicitor – August 2017.
  • Always receive a prompt and efficient service.

    Solicitor - June 2017.
  • Exceptionally quick turnaround time.

    Solicitor - March 2017.
  • John Tarpey's evidence was critical to the success of this case.

    Senior Counsel – February 2018
  • The service Ryan Knight provided was excellent.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Friendliness and complete empathy in what was a very stressful situation for me.

    Private client – September 2018
  • Ann Kiernan was excellent.

    Counsel - March 2017.
  • Well established reputation for forensic work.

    Solicitor – October 2017
  • Clarity of communications.

    Solicitor – October 2017
  • The expert witness was easily contactable and diligent in his work.

    Solicitor - June 2017.
  • Mr Prime was able to provide assistance with matters as they arose, which was invaluable.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • Extremely efficient.

    Solicitor – August 2018
  • The service we have received is 5* and very much appreciated.

    Solicitor - November 2017
  • Based on many previous instructions to assist with our cases, the reports produced by your Experts are always helpful.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • We did a generic Google trawl and ‘short-listed’ you because of your experience/credentials but (having contacted others) selected you because you were efficient, quick off the mark and personable.

    Private Client – April 2018
  • Alan Henderson was excellent from beginning to end.

    Solicitor - June 2017.
  • We are very grateful to Mr Prime.  He made himself available at short notice and was contactable over the phone beforehand in order to clarify/confirm certain aspects of the case.

    Solicitor – May 2018
  • Fast response, friendly, clear explanations of requirements and findings at all stages.

    Solicitor - February 2017.
  • As always, I am entirely satisfied by the services provided by your company.  These are provided to the highest level.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Helpfully swift responses – in respect of both fee estimates and reports.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • Pleasant and efficient replies and support by all staff.

    Solicitor – November 2017
  • Mr Prime was very fair and provided assistance beyond the report.

    Solicitor – August 2017.
  • Brilliant job and response to late and urgent instructions – very much above and beyond what we would expect.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • Alan Henderson was absolutely fantastic.

    Solicitor – October 2017
  • Very good, in fact excellent!

    Solicitor – February 2018
  • Would use the service again with no hesitation.

    Solicitor – January 2018
  • May we thank Mrs Allan for an excellent report.

    Solicitor – March 2018
  • Local, efficient, competitive and quick.

    Solicitor – February 2018
  • You provide a good service and work within the constraints of the LAA funding.

    Solicitor – April 2018
  • Fiona Taylor provided quick responses to all of my questions and queries. The service was very professional throughout, from my initial enquiry to receiving the Report.

    Solicitor – July 2018
  • Very impressive and thoroughly excellent performance in the witness box.

    Counsel – February 2018
  • We compared you with another less costly service, but considered you to be more professional.

    Solicitor – February 2018
  • Always helpful. Detailed reports.

    Solicitor - March 2017.
  • Report was delivered on time as promised.

    Solicitor - December 2017
  • The right expert for the job.

    Solicitor - February 2017.
  • Very quick, very clear report.  Excellent service at all times.

    Solicitor – March 2018

Keith Borer Consultants is a division of Orchid Cellmark Ltd, a company registered in England at 16 Blacklands Way, Abingdon, OX14 1DY.

Registered No. 4045527; VAT registration No. GB 750 0292 64

Website developed by Problue Solutions