Bradley Edwards found guilty of the Claremont Killings

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In the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Perth, Bradley Edwards has just been found guilty of the murder of two young women in 1996/7 in a notorious case which has become known as the Claremont Killings. International DNA expert Dr Jonathan Whitaker gave evidence on the critical DNA profile evidence from the fingernail of victim Ciara Glennon which provided the link to the accused . Dr Whitaker worked as a Principal Forensic Scientist with the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in the UK at the now closed Wetherby Laboratory and helped develop the Low Copy Number DNA method which was applied to critical samples in this case in 2008. This was the same method used in the trial of Bradley Murdoch in the case of missing backpacker Peter Falconio and the Appeal case of James Hanratty, The Worlds End and Clydach murders as well as the assassination of the Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh.

In 2012 the UK government closed the FSS due to a programme of competitive tendering between private forensic laboratories; however this case shows that the legacy of the FSS innovation and expertise lives on. In 2016 a match was observed between the DNA profile found on the fingernail sample of victim Ciara Glennon and the reference DNA profile of Mr Edwards. At trial Mr Edwards denied the murder and claimed his DNA had resulted due to laboratory contamination; however the judge disagreed and a guilty verdict was handed out today.

The case has been covered in the Yorkshire Post and can be found here: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/ajm42-how-yorkshire-scientists-helped-convict-australian-murderer-bradley-robert-edwards-just-fraction-nanogram-dna-2985053

Notes:

The government owned Forensic Science Service (FSS) was closed in 2012 having been at the forefront of forensic research and development. Many staff were made redundant during the closure including all of the principal scientific leads. These individuals formed their owned company, Principal Forensic Services, which continues to provides expert opinion and support for both the prosecution and defence:  www.principalforensicservices.com

If you are interested and would like to know more about the case and his involvement he can be contacted by email at: jonathanwhitaker@principalforensicservices.com

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