01482 778 463
Established since 1997
No Win No Fee
Award Winning Specialists
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Expert witnesses stand in a very privileged position so when that position is abused, the search for justice is seriously hampered

Expert witnesses stand in a very privileged position so when that position is abused, the search for justice is seriously hampered

Lab testing


As Andrew Petherbridge in our Civil Liberties Team recently reported;

“The true scale of the Randox Testing Services forensic testing scandal is now beginning to emerge as more people are being contacted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to be told their convictions were not reliable.

Our team here at Hudgell Solicitors handling damages claims relating to inaccurate Randox results are being contacted by an increasing number of people as the investigation continues.”

The role of expert witnesses

Expert witnesses stand in the very privileged position of being able to provide Magistrates or the jury with opinion evidence on matters within their area of expertise and outside most Magistrates’ or jurors’ knowledge and experience

A lay bench of Magistrates or a jury, comprised as they are, of lay persons, may not realistically be fully equipped in terms of education or experience to be able to address the reliability of technical or complex expert opinion evidence, particularly evidence of a scientific nature.

This being the case, there is a real and very understandable danger that they may simply agree with the opinion of the specialist who has been called to provide expert evidence.

So in the case of Dallagher [2002] EWCA Crim 1903, [2005] 1 Cr App R 12. the Defendant’s conviction for murder was based on unreliable expert opinion evidence relating to the comparison of an ear-print made by the Defendant with a latent ear-print found on a window. At the trial, one of the experts gave evidence that he was “absolutely convinced” that the Defendant had left the latent print, and a second prosecution expert was also to say that there was only a “remote possibility” that the latent print had been left by someone else.

Notwithstanding the strength of these opinions, DNA evidence taken from the latent print subsequently established that it had not been left by the Defendant, so demonstrating the unreliable nature of the evidence used to secure his conviction.

The Defendant’s conviction was quashed (and a retrial ordered) before the DNA evidence became available.

Drug and drink driving offences

In charges relating to:

  • Driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs (s.4 (1) Road Traffic Act 1988) or
  • Being in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs (s.4 (2) of the same Act)

Drivers can now be prosecuted if they drive with excessive levels of a relevant substance in their system without the need for the Prosecution to prove any level of impairment to driving. Effectively the expert evidence relating to the presence of a relevant drug in a person’s system above the specified limit is the determining factor whether a driver will be charged with an offence.

So the evidence of an expert in such cases assumes an even greater significance than is usually the case.

It is most concerning that the search for justice has been so seriously hampered in the cases we are now dealing with in our team.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Stephen Downing

Senior Solicitor, Civil Liberties

sdo@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.









Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Professional staff

"Professional staff They keep me updated all the time Very good service Definitely recommended"

Mr Daniel Pantiru

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Straightforward and efficient

"I had the pleasure of having Sarah Colgrave as my solicitor. She was very accomodating,… "

Miss Rhianna Higham

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

An absolutely brilliant team of people

"An absolutely brilliant team of people! So kind a and helpful. Always putting their clients… "

Miss Chloe Ahad

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

very helpful & understanding

"very helpful & understanding"

Mrs Pauline Elliott

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great firm to deal with

"Great firm to deal with, attentive and on the ball, everyone was always pleasant and… "

Karen Barnard

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Quicker than expected

"They were friendly, helpful when needed. Everything was done as expected all in black and… "

Mr W

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent Company.

"I would like to thank Hudgell Solicitors for a very professional approach and caring attitude… "

paul baker

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Would highly recommend

"Would highly recommend"

Toyah johnson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They understood the issues in my case…

"They understood the issues in my case and dealt with the matter in a very… "

Mrs Zena Haroon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I must say

"I must say, the experience was pleasant and everyone I spoke to was lovely and… "

F Cole

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Professional & helpful throughout the…

"Professional & helpful throughout the process"

Mr Darron Sunman

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Absolutely Fantastic

"Absolutely Fantastic! Case took a lot less time than expected and the outcome was a… "

Danielle

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

8spot on service

"8spot on service"

Mr Alan Walker

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I am extremely happy with the…

"I am extremely happy with the professionalism and friendly service I received from Sam Thompson… "

Mr Phillip Ivory

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service always friendly

"Great service always friendly. Always kept up to date with my claim. Every time frame… "

Mr Sean Quinn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A big thank you to all at hudgell…

"A big thank you to all at hudgell solicitors, the process of my injury claim… "

Mr christopher beavers

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors were there when I needed them

"I would highly recommend Hudgell Solicitors to anyone in the unfortunate position of requiring legal… "

Mr Anthony O

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors were so helpful…

"Hudgell Solicitors were so helpful through the whole process. they advised me on the best… "

Mr David Branton

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very efficient and friendly service

"Very efficient and friendly service"

Mrs Lorraine Firth

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 434 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90