Leicester & the DNA Connection by David Farrer QC.

David Farrer QC, will give a talk on “Leicester & the DNA Connection” at the Hoby & District Local History Society on Wednesday 19th September at 7.30pm, Hoby Village Hall (LE14 3DT). All are welcome; the price for non members is £2.00 (pay on door) or visit www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk for more information.
David’s talk will focus on the ground–breaking work carried out at Leicester University under Sir Alec Jeffries into the use of nuclear DNA profiling as a vital forensic tool, now used throughout the world, for the identification of offenders in crimes of all kinds. He will talk about its initial use in the investigation of the Enderby murders in the early 1980s, first to pardon the man wrongly charged and then, after an extraordinary sequence of events, to convict the true offender.
DNA profiling now has many uses outside the criminal justice system and David will outline the development of the relevant techniques in Leicester and then elsewhere which led to the highly sophisticated DNA tests and databases which exist today and play an often decisive role in so many important investigations, for example the use of mitochondrial DNA to establish that the Greyfriars skeleton was Richard III and the identification of the remains of the Auschwitz doctor, Josef Mengele in Argentina in 1989.
David Farrer Q.C. practised at the bar in Leicester until 1986 and then in London till 2014. As a new QC, he was instructed to prosecute the man later exculpated by Sir Alec’s analysis of his DNA and thereafter represented the real culprit, Colin Pitchfork. In the following years he prosecuted a series of murder and rape trials in which the validity of DNA testing and databases and of the calculation of match probabilities were challenged. He has studied the development of DNA profiling, from the standpoint of a lawyer and the way in which the courts have handled the problems that it has presented. Now retired, he has just completed an online Cambridge continuing education course on current developments in the forensic use of DNA.
The Hoby & District Local History Society is a voluntary organisation. The Society brings together people from all walks of life who are interested in the local history of the Leicestershire villages of Hoby, Rotherby, Ragdale and Brooksby and the District around them. The society was founded in 2013 as part of a village First World War research project for which it received a National Lottery Grant.