Soil samples taken from the forest the place a intercourse employee’s physique was discovered “corresponded” with these found within the van of the person accused of murdering her, a courtroom has heard.
Iain Packer, 50, is on trial on the High Court in Glasgow accused of murdering Emma Caldwell, 27, in 2005, and faces 46 fees involving a lot of ladies together with rape in addition to abduction and assault.
He denies all the fees towards him, and has lodged particular defences of incrimination, consent, defence of one other and self-defence.
Giving proof on Wednesday, Dr Stefan Uitdehaag, from the Netherlands Forensic Institute within the Hague, stated he wrote a report on palynology – the research of soil – after being commissioned by Police Scotland.
He calculated “ecological distances” between six samples from round Limefield Woods in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, the place Ms Caldwell’s physique was discovered on 8 May 2005, and a pattern discovered within the footwell of Packer’s van, inspecting pollen composition.
The six samples from the location included from a molehill on a path to the physique web site, two from ditches the place Ms Caldwell was discovered, from below spruce needles, from an space the place footprints have been discovered a couple of metres from the physique, and from below moss.
The forensic scientist stated the outcomes confirmed the soil was “much more likely” to have come from the identical location because the pattern in van, and ranked as “odds 100 times to 10,000 times more likely”, or a “99.99%” probability, that they got here from the identical spot, slightly than one other random web site.
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The calculated “ecological distance” thought-about the sensitivity of the outcomes akin to mixing and selective lack of materials after switch from location to the car.
Dr Uitdehaag’s report examined “proposition one” (P1) – that the pattern from the van got here from the identical location as different samples; and “proposition two” (P2) – that it got here from a random different location, outlined as “within Scotland outwith 100 metres”.
The report stated the outcomes of the examination “fit proposition P1 well”, however three samples fitted P1 “very well”, it added.
Dr Uitdehaag, who has labored on “best practice guides” for Europe, informed advocate depute Richard Goddard KC that the three samples “were more likely to have come from the same location than from a different location”.
Mr Goddard stated: “There was a slight difference which was the amount you would have expected. You found a wide variety of pollens which corresponded between the van sample and the samples taken from the woods.”
He added: “The chances of getting these results are 100 to 10,000 times more likely that P1 applies than P2.”
Dr Uitdehaag replied: “The proposition of P1 is 99% to 99.99% more likely than P2. The numbers are based on my knowledge and expertise. It means the results are more likely in P1 or P2, in this case much more likely.”
The trial, in entrance of Lord Beckett, continues.