On 13th December, BBC News reported that Victor Nealon was released from prison after serving 17 years of a life sentence for attempted rape. The Court of Appeal quashed his conviction after new evidence revealed the presence of DNA from an unknown male.
Miss Orla Sower from Keith Borer Consultants was originally instructed in relation to this case in 2009. During the course of 2010, she retested clothing attributed to the injured party, identifying DNA from an unknown male on several areas of the blouse and bra.
Miss Sower’s findings were agreed by scientists at the Forensic Science Service and the case was referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) for Appeal.
This case highlights the importance of retesting exhibits in older cases, where newer, more sensitive technology now exists, but also the need for solicitors to look at scientific evidence in general and ask the question ‘what else should have been tested?’.