Robert Leese

Dr Robert Leese

Director, Industrial Mathematics KTN

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A case of acoustic forensics

As part of the Bayes and the Law Network, there will be a guest lecture by Dr Geoffrey Stewart Morrison at Queen Mary, University of London on Friday 20 April at 11am in the Dept of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.  Dr Morrison is Director of the Forensic Voice Comparison Laboratory, School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, University of New South Wales. 


Title: What did Bain really say? A forensic analysis of the disputed utterance based on data, acoustic analysis, statistical models, calculation of likelihood ratios, and testing of validity.


The David Bain legal case is (in)famous in New Zealand. In 1995 Bain was convicted of murdering his family. He maintained his innocence and a retrial was eventually held in 2009. He was found not guilty. Prior to the retrial, a police officer thought he heard the words “I shot the prick” in the telephone call that Bain made to the emergency services shortly after the murders. The defence contended that these were not the words spoken. An alternative hypothesis which emerged was that Bain had said “I can’t breathe”. 


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