Hussain's trial testimony

Evidence of Javaid Iqbal Hussain
'The High Court' before The Honourable Mr. Justice Hutchinson - Monday 26 April 1993
Q. Is your full name Javaid Iqbal Hussain?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. Mr Hussain, are you a forensic scientist by occupation?
A. Yes, I am.

Q. Where are you based?
A. At the forensic laboratory in Birmingham.

Q. What are your qualifications?
A. I am a Bachelor of Science, a degree in Zoology.

Q. What is your specialism at the forensic science laboratory?
A. Fingerprint detection and enhancement.

Q. Fingerprint detection and?
A. enhancement.

Q. On 19th March last year on the request of the Greater Manchester Police did you attend 24 Tandle Hill Road Royton Oldham?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you go into the rear room on the ground floor where Detective Sergeant Abbot indicated to you three areas of possible blood staining?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. Would you like to look at exhibit six, please. Do you have those in front of you?
A. Yes, I do.

Q. Would you like to look at photograph one. Does that show the area in which that possible blood staining was present?
A. Yes, it does.

Q. Were all three areas treated with chemical reagents in order to reveal any fingerprint details that might have been present in the staining?
A. Yes, they were.

Q. Can you explain what a chemical reagent is?
A. It's a reagent which is applied in order to reveal or to enhance any possible fingerprint detail which is present.

Q. What is a reagent?
A. It's usually a chemical solution.

Q. I am going now, my Lord, to page 77a. Was the first reagent that you used on those three areas an iodine spray?
A. Yes, it was.

Q. Was that applied on 19th March after you had completed your initial visual examination?
A. Yes, it was.

Q. What is the purpose of applying the iodine reagent?
A. In order to enhance the fingerprint detail which was already partially visible.

Q. Is the enhancement achieved by the formation of a visibly blue product?
A. It is with iodine reagent, yes.

Q. Did you apply the iodine in the form of a very fine iodine spray?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you achieve visual enhancement of the three areas of staining?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. Were you satisfied that there had been no damage, diffusion or distortion of those three areas?
A. Yes, I was.

Q. Then did you apply a second reagent?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. Is that called ninhydrin?
A. It's called ninhydrin reagent, yes.

Q. Can that react with various blood constituents which might be present in latent fingerprints?
A. Yes, it can react with amino acids or urea or various properties.

Q. Is that, therefore, another reagent used in fingerprint detection and enhancement?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. And does that now produce when it is applied a visible purple product?
A. Yes, it does.

Q. How long would it take to achieve makimum enhancement of a fingerprint?
A. Maximum enhancement can be achieved from a period almost immediately to about perhaps 14 days, it depends on the conditions.

Q. Did you apply ninhydrin to the wall as a fine stream of solution from a water bottle?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. Was visual enhancement evident to you?
A. Yes, it was.

Q. How long after you application?
A. It was evident approximately 20 minutes after application.

Q. Were you satisfied there had been no damage or distortion to the stained area as a result of that application?
A. Yes, I was.

Q. On 24th March did you re-attend the scene?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. At that time had you been informed that fingerprint details had been revealed as a result of your previous visit?
A. Yes, I was.

Q. Were you requested to treat the areas of staining with a further reagent which would enable you to express an opinion as to whether or not these areas had been laid in blood?
A. Yes, I was.

Q. So this was not now a fingerprint test but merely to find out whether the fingerprints were, infact, in blood?
A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. Did you apply a further reagent that day, 24th March?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. What is that called?
A. It's called trtra-amino biphenyl.

Q. Does that react with the haemoglobin present in blood?
A. Yes, it does.

Q. What form of product does that produce?
A. It forms a dark brown insoluble product.

Q. Did you treat all three areas with that chemical on 24th March?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. What did they demonstrate?
A. All three areas demonstrated a positive dark brown reaction and there was no atypical reactions.

Q. So you have now applied three different reagents, is that right?
A. That's correct.

Q. You said that in respect of the last reagent there was no atypical reactions?
A. Yes.

Q. What do you mean by that?
A. There was nothing unusual in the way the material behaved which would lead me to believe that perhaps something untoward was happening. The material behaved exactly as I would have expected had it been blood.

Q. Did the material behave exactly as you would expect blood to behave in respect of each of the three reagents?
A. Yes, It did.

Q. Can you think of any other material which would have had a similar appearance and which would have given a similar reaction to those three reagents?
A. No, I can think of no other material which would have behaved in that way.

Q. Save for blood?
A. Save for blood, yes.

Q. What was your opinion as a result of that particular product testing?
A. Based on my visual examination and the results I obtained with all three reagents , it's my opinion that all three areas were made in blood.

Q. Were you able to distinguish between human bloold and animal blood in reaching that conclusion?
A. No.

Q. Why was that?
A. That's because haemoglobin is present in the blood of many species and on the basis of the test which I performed it's not possible to distinguish between the blood of different species.

Q. Would you stay there, please?

Cross examined by Mr Carus

Q. You applied a total of three solutions to each of these stains, did you not?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. An iodine spray?
A. Yes.

Q. A chemical called ninhydrin which you applied using a washing-up liquid bottle, did you?
A. A wash bottle.

Q. What is that?
A. It's a plastic bottle with a fine jet.

Q. And you soaked the surface, did you?
A. Yes.

Q. Might that cause whatever is on the surface to run?
A. No.

Q. Does it not have a tendency?
A. No.

Q. It is about the third test that I want in particular to ask you questions. That was an application of a substance called tetra-amino biphenyl?
A. Biphenyl, yes.

Q. Is there a short word one can use for that?
A. I tend to call it TAB.

Q. The use of TAB for this purpose is a relatively new technique, is it not?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. And consequently operational experience, practical experience, of its use is still rather limited?
A. Yes.

Q. As a result of that limited experience, is it your opinion now that, although the three areas of staining may be blood, you cannot state that categorically to the exclusion of other haemoglobin bearing substances?
A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. You recognise that you are unable to distinguish between human blood and animal blood? I am saying that there is room for doubt as to whether it is blood at all?
A. I am certain in my opinion that the material there was blood. I concede that that is not proof positive.

Q. Would you agree then, and I am referring to an earlier statement from you which I can show you: "" cannot state categorically that these stains were blood to the exclusion of all other materials""
A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. This is a passage, a part of the house where food was regularly conveyed by trolley?
A. Yes.

Q. And there has been some evidence that food was splashed on the walls. Is that the sort of source that might contain haemoglobin?
MR JUSTICE HUTCHINSON: Sorry, is what the sort of source?
MR CARUS: Food splashing on the walls.
MR JUSTICE HUTCHINSON: Might food contain haemoglobin, food for human consumption?
A. It would have to be food which contained haemoglobin.
MR CARUS: Exactly. Thank you Mr Hussain.
Re-examined by MR MORRIS

Q. Obviously, one substance which contains haemoglobin is blood?
A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. Can you think of any other materials which would have produced those marks on that wall which reacted in the same way to the reagents that you applied?
A. Not which would have reacted in the same way and also have had the same appearance

Q. So your opinion that you expressed, the certainty that the material was blood, was part based on the application of these reagents and part upon the physical appearance of the substance?
A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. Thank you very much, Mr Hussain.