Solving even the Most Complex Criminal Cases by Using Modern Forensic Science More Effectively
Axiom’s scientific team is led by Professor Angela Gallop who, amongst other things, established and personally led the scientific teams who helped to solve many of the UK’s most high profile and complex recent criminal cases.
Between them, they completely re-invented scientific investigation in the most complex and difficult cases, devising new approaches to finding critical evidence and then maximising opportunities to analyse it by drawing on technologies from the wider scientific community. It is on this difficult and sensitive work that Axiom now focuses substantial attention, and it is starting to make a difference internationally in a number of countries.
Axiom is supported in this work by its sister company – Forensic Access, which was set up by Professor Gallop in 1986 to provide independent, impartial forensic science services to both police/prosecution and legal defence teams. Forensic Access lies at the heart of the evolution of forensic science in the UK in recent years, having inspired and led the development of forensic services in what are now the largest providers of forensic services in the UK.
Working in modern, purpose built ISO accredited forensic laboratories in the UK, Forensic Access is one of only six approved suppliers for complex casework for police in England and Wales. These are where a substantial amount of Axiom’s casework is conducted. Forensic Access is also engaged in a rich programme of research and development, some of which is specifically focused on facilitating the delivery of high quality forensic science in the absence of sophisticated scientific infrastructure.
Analytical services include all the usual types of forensic investigation:
Locating and identifying a full range of body fluids and tissues
Blood pattern analysis
Textile fibres and fabrics
Shoes, tool, tyre and manufacturing marks
Paint, glass, plastics and other particulate traces
Damage in relation to clothing
Fires and fire accelerants
Crime scene examination and reconstruction
Drugs of abuse
Firearms and ballistics
E-crime including mobile phones, computers, and CCTV and other imagery
Supported by secure exhibit collection and delivery – to maintain chains of custody and avoid compromise of evidence
And a range of other, more unusual expertise which can be combined in imaginative, cost effective investigation strategies to help solve specific cases – making the most of our long experience, impressive track record and the power of modern science.
for expertise and evidence types associated with outdoors including forensic anthropology and archaeology, soils, vegetation and botanical profiling, and forensic entomology
for evidence associated with animals including identification and comparison of animal hair/fur, feathers, fish scales, bite marks and non-human DNA from wildlife, domestic pets foodstuffs and insects
Advanced Chemical Analysis
for identifying, comparing, dating and/or sourcing physical traces including eg. Building materials, paper/inks, counterfeit goods, fire accelerants, gunshot and explosives traces, textile fibres, and industrial enquiries and databases associated with them
to help with eg. Murder and missing person enquiries including search and recovery in all physical environments, geographical origin of human remains, general and specific identifiers such as advanced DNA, facial reconstruction and comparison, clothing pattern recognition eg. On CCTV, voice recognition, age at death and time since death.
Track record examples
Axiom scientists include most of the most high profile criminal cases in the UK in recent times including:
Damilola Taylor (resulting in the conviction of initial suspects
Preddie brothers, and exoneration of four others who were initially put on trial for the crime)
Rachel Nickell (resulting in the conviction of Robert Napper and exoneration of long term suspect, Colin Stagg)
Lynette White (resulting in the conviction of Jeffrey Gafoor and exoneration of The Cardiff Three who were originally convicted of the crime)
Steven Lawrence (resulting in the conviction of long term suspects Gary Dobson and David Norris)
Coastal Path and related murders (resulting in the conviction of serial thief and armed robber, John Cooper)
A growing international reputation
Axiom has a growing international reputation with recent cases including the discovery of missed blood and therefore DNA opportunities at a potential crime scene, a case where we were asked to check the strength of the prosecution’s scientific evidence prior to trial to establish whether it would hold up at court, the reduction in sentence for two people facing the death penalty which was commuted to life imprisonment after weaknesses in the scientific evidence were fully exposed, and another case where an impending death sentence for drugs offences was reduced to six years imprisonment, again because of serious deficiencies in forensic science.