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Blog entry 21st October 2017

On the 19th October I received a copy of the new forensic report. It's findings are vastly different to what the police and CPS presented as being factual at my trial in respect of the acclaimed DNA match.

The crime scene samples DAR/6 & 8 were re-tested using the two most current and significantly more reliable DNA testing procedures. These being DNA17 and Y-23 testing. DNA17 examines more of the DNA bands that exist than the SGM+ testing used by the prosecution at my trial. Y-23 testing specifically targets male DNA only in a sample. Both operate at much more sensitive detection levels than the SGM+ testing used by the police and CPS at the time of my trial.

The interpretation of the DNA17 test is given as a "weak" match by the independent forensic expert. This is considerably different to the 'extremely strong' match claimed by the police and CPS's forensic examiner at the time of my trial. The chief cause of this is due to two specific factors:

  1. The majority of the revealed DNA band readings match both the deceased (Susan Kent) and myself. It is impossible to determine who these readings belong to. It is possible that if the readings were mine that they are being "masked" by Susan Kent's DNA. However, due to the volume of blood from Susan Kent at the crime scene it is more likely that these readings are Susan Kent's. Regardless these band readings cannot be specifically allotted and are therefore excluded reducing the match probability.
  2. A number of the examined DNA bands failed to produce any readings at all. These also have to be discounted from any match probability assessment and or calculations.

Back in 1999/2000, the SGM+ testing also failed to produce results across a range of the examined bands. This should have reduced the match estimation claimed by the prosecutions forensic "expert". Instead, he hid this fact and claimed a '1 in a billion' statistic or 'extremely strong' match implying that a full profile of readings had been produced by his SGM+ testing. This claim to the jury under oath was misleading in the very least, knowingly false at the worst.

The Y-23 test results are also described by the independent forensic examiner as only producing a 'weak' match to myself. In addition the examiner has also given a statistical evaluation that 1 in 3500 people in the Western European population (approximately) yield the same readings at these DNA bands. Currently the population of Europe stands at 742,249,124 people. If this were halved to account for a Western European population we get a figure of 371,124,562 people. Divide this by the 1 in 3500 match ration and it means that 106,035 people in Europe would create the same match. Now, the UK's current population is 66,301,012 people. This means that in the UK 18,943 other people would create this match. Kent, where the murder occurred has a population of 1.7million roughly. So in Kent around 486 people would yield this match.

Again this 'weak' match for the Y-23 test is predominantly due to the DNA only being a partial profile. In other words a number of the DNA bands did not produce any readings at all. The forensic scientist who conducted the interpretation of the new forensic test results was asked to comment on what the implications of the missing DNA bands were.

She has stated in her report:-

"As partial DNA results were obtained there were bands missing and so there is the potential that if information was identified in these areas this may not match the profile of Mr Ferguson and therefore could exclude or suggest he was not a contributor of DNA to the result. Therefore, if other bands readings (DNA components) were identified then the interpretation of these profiles may change".

This is all crucial evidence that the police's forensic examiner omitted from his evidence and, as such, misled my trial jury.

Those who have read my blogs regularly will know of the 2011 trial of Vincent Simpson for the 1980 murder of Elizabeth McCabe. During this trial Dr Jonathan Whitaker head of the Forensic Science Service's Wetherby lab and acting on behalf of the police admitted that just one missing DNA band reading was sufficient to cast doubt on a DNA sample matching an accused suspect. Vincent Simpson was subsequently exonerated.

The new forensic report has now been sent to my barrister for his consideration.

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