Sat | Aug 13, 2022

DNA of 17-y-o accused confirmed in buggery of Westmoreland schoolgirl, expert testifies

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2022 | 3:30 PM
The teen is accused of the rape, buggery, and murder of the schoolgirl. 

The Westmoreland Circuit Court today heard that DNA analysis revealed that material found in the anus of a nine-year-old schoolgirl who was raped and then killed in 2018 is linked to the now 17-year-old accused.

“The accused cannot be excluded as being the source of the DNA profile present on the area of the underpants, the fingernail swabs allegedly taken from his left and right fingers, as well as the anal swabs allegedly taken from the deceased,” testified chief of the DNA unit at the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine, Crystal Beepot.

The teen is accused of the rape, buggery, and murder of the schoolgirl. 

Testifying via video link, Beepot told the court that the random probability for profile number two, the sample that was tested, is one in 175- quadrillion.

This is the statistical weight that represents how rare it would be to find another random person in the Jamaican population with the same DNA profile as the accused.

“It is highly unlikely and therefore the accused cannot be excluded as being the source of the DNA in the profile present in the area of the underpants as well as the anal swabs allegedly taken from the deceased,” she explained. 

Beepot noted that for the third sample the same unique formula was performed on an area of the underpants and hair taken from the anus of the deceased, which produced mixed DNA profiles. 

“The two exhibits produce two mixed DNA profiles and based on an assessment of the result, it was observed that the two mixed were obtained from at least two individuals where the accused and the deceased cannot be excluded as being contributors to the mixed DNA profiles,” she continued.

She also told the court that there were no other profiles from the findings that were allegedly taken from the deceased. 

The head of the DNA unit was the last witness for the prosecution, which is to make its summation this afternoon as it closes its case.

Yesterday, Dr Judith Mowatt, head of the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine, testified that forensic tests and analysis carried out on swabs taken from the vagina of the schoolgirl were found to contain biological fluids.

READ: Semen found in accused's underpants, swabs of privates

She that the exhibits, which were submitted by the police to the lab on June 7, 2018, were checked by her on June 14 and that she made notes of her findings on the laboratory worksheet.

“There was also human blood found in the anal swab,” Mowatt said.

When pressed by the prosecution to provide an explanation as to how she was able to determine that the blood found on the swab was human, the senior executive said that the lab arrived at its decision based on the use of a special kit designed to distinguish the species of fluids.

It is being alleged that on June 5, 2018, the nine-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and killed by the accused, who was 13 at the time.

He is now 17.

It is further alleged that the attack happened after she accepted his invitation to pick apples as they walked home from school. 

- Albert Ferguson 

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