From 77 million-to-one error down to 1 in 1 probability at a stroke
Expert matched semen sample to Wayne, then changed his mind
By Brian Carroll
A SEMEN sample found on Robert Holohan's body was a DNA match for Wayne O'
Donoghue with only a 77-million-to-one chance of error, a forensic expert
Professor Jonathan Whitaker, from the Wetherby Forensic Science Facility in
West Yorkshire, examined a trace sample taken from Robert's hand after his
body was discovered dumped near Inch Strand on January 12 last year.
It was on the basis of this forensic analysis, together with the autopsy
findings of State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, that the charge against
Wayne O'Donoghue was upgraded from manslaughter to murder.
However, semen traces found on a bath mat upon which Robert's body had been
lying in O'Donoghue's house were subsequently sent for testing and the same
forensic expert found this semen was not Wayne's.
"The semen on the bath mat wasn't Wayne's but was so alike that it threw
doubt on the first sample,'' a senior garda source said.
On this basis, the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled that there could
have been "cross transfer" between semen on the mat in the bathroom of
O'Donoghue's house and semen on Robert's body. Therefore, the DPP ruled the
semen evidence was inadmissible.
The DPP, following both forensic examinations, clearly decided this was not
evidence of sufficient reliability to be allowed go to the jury.
There was not sufficient clarity as to either the source of the semen or the
means by which the semen sample came to be on Robert's body.
This is why the jury in the Wayne O'Donoghue murder trial never heard
evidence of semen being found on the body.
"The initial report found there was a one-in-77 million chance that it was
anyone else's semen other than Wayne's.
"The semen found on a mat on which Robert had been lying was tested
afterwards and was not Wayne's. The DPP said there could have been cross
transfer and on that basis the defence would be able to get it ruled out,''
a source said.
What they aren't telling you about DNA profiles
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