R -v- Haroon Rafiq

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Conspiracy to supply class A drugs

We were instructed by the police to authenticate covert recordings of conversations between a number of males suspected of drug dealing and to compare the speech of one of these males with the voice of Haroon Rafiq. The results indicated strong support for the view that Haroon Rafiq was the speaker of interest. Haroon Rafiq pleaded guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison.

Forensic analysis undertaken:

  • Speaker comparison
  • Authentication

R -v- Remi Adams & others

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Trial for murder of Kieran McGrath | 

Taxi calls after the murder and recordings from a prison van were made and the speakers in and content of the recordings was at issue in the trials.  Dr Rhodes carried out speaker comparison, attribution of voices and transcription of content throughout the trial and subsequent retrial of Remi Adams and other suspects for murder. Further to this work,  we were instructed to assess and scrutinise the work of other voice experts and transcribers.

BBC article following original trial

MEN article from the retrial

February, March and October 2016; Liverpool and Manchester Crown Square Crown Courts

Instructed by the Defence; Dr Rhodes provided multiple reports and gave evidence in court for the original trial

R -v- Jama Ahmed & others

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Murder involving multiple suspects

Calls were made to a taxi company as part of a series of events which led to the murder and shooting of two young men.

We were instructed by the police to compare the voices of a number of suspects with the taxi caller. The results indicated that one of the men could have been the caller, while the others had very different voice and speech patterns.  The suspect identified by our testing later admitted to having made the call in court.  He was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 36 years imprisonment.

Further information about the case can be found in this article:

BBC article

November 2015; Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Instructed by the Crown; Dr Rhodes’ report was accepted in evidence and helped to direct the prosecutions.

R -v- Dawood Sadiq

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Hoax 999 call which prompted armed response |

A hoax call was made to West Midlands Police about a car containing a firearm.  The call was made from the mobile phone of the suspect, Mr Sadiq.  Dr Rhodes was instructed to compare the voice of Mr Sadiq with the hoax caller. By making a reference recording of Mr Sadiq’s voice over the telephone, we were able to show very significant differences between the two voices, to the extent that the possibility of Mr Sadiq being the caller could effectively be ruled out.  The Judge Magistrate in the case acknowledged that without the voice evidence, Mr Sadiq would have been (wrongly) convicted of the offence.

August 2015; Birmingham Magistrates Court, UK

Instructed by the Defence; Dr Rhodes provided a report and gave evidence in court

R -v- Shamsul Islam

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Terrorism and bomb hoax which closed Knaresborough |

A hoax caller closed off the town and invited the wrongful arrest of a number of innocent men.  We were instructed to compare the voice of the hoax caller with a number of suspects.  The evidence assisted in the case against Mr Islam and was able to distinguish his voice from the other suspects including his brother’s.  Shamsul Islam was convicted

Article containing case information 

November 2014, North Yorkshire, UK
Instructed by the Crown; submitted reports and gave evidence at York Crown Court

R -v- Uter, Abouakkour, Roberts, Wood and Williams

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Birmingham gang tried for kidnapping, torture and subsequent witness intimidation |

Provided a key witness for the prosecution case in the trial of multiple defendants.  The recordings comprised numerous telephone calls which we were instructed to compare with suspect interview recordings.  The examinations also involved transcription/analysis of disputed sections from some of these recordings.  The defendants were convicted and sentenced to a collective 66 years.

Article containing information about the case

November 2014, Birmingham, UK
Instructed by the Crown, produced reports and gave evidence in the witness box.

R -v- Christopher Sawyers and Kirsty Edmonson

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Trial for murder and subsequent fraud and theft |

Kenneth Chapman was murdered and his corpse left in a house where a series of recordings were made.  We were instructed by the police to enhance and transcribe sections of the recordings and to establish the date and time on which the recordings were made.  Christopher Sawyers was found guilty of the murder and Edmonson was found guilty of related fraud offences.

Guardian article on the case [23rd June 2014]

June 2014; Greater Manchester, UK
Instructed by the prosecution, provided report and transcript and worked with GMP officers to  identify and enhance key sections of the recordings

R -v- Aitken, Aitken & Doherty

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Enhancement and transcription in a murder case |

In this trial for murder, we were asked to enhance sections of audio from a mobile phone video which had been taken while the suspects were burning articles of clothing worn during the murder of Barry Smith.  The enhancement and transcription provided key evidence of the suspects’ involvement in the incident. Vincent Aitken will serve a minimum of 22 years while Nathan Doherty was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years. Emma Aitken will serve a minimum of 12 years.

The original video (left), the enhanced video (right, enhanced by Key Forensic) can be viewed below along with the enhanced audio track produced at J P French Associates.

May 2014; Leicester Crown Court, UK
Instructed by the prosecution, provided report and transcript, enhanced audio and video with enhanced audio track and subtitles from transcript

R -v- Paul Hamilton, Noel Hamilton and Thomas Hamilton

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Trial for murder and violent disorder at the Old Bailey |

We were instructed by the Crown to transcribe a recording of a fight between a group of men and women where Liam Hamilton was fatally stabbed.  As well as discerning the content, we were asked to give a judgement on whether certain utterances were spoken/shouted by men or women.  Prof French was also asked to consider further questions from the defence at trial. Paul Hamilton was convicted of murder and received a life sentence.

BBC article on case

January – February 2014; Central Criminal Court – Old Bailey, UK
Instructed by the prosecution, provided reports and transcripts and gave evidence in the witness box

R -v- Robert Cerqua

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Man who murdered his twin brother |

We enhanced and transcribed key sections of the 999 call recording in this case (article containing call) where the mother of the victim rang the police after he had been stabbed.  The evidence provided the police with a more accurate account of the event and details of who was involved in the offence.  The case and sentencing is summarised in a Guardian article:


February 2014, Hampshire, UK
Instructed by the prosecution, provided reports and transcripts.