University of Dundee

CAHID forensic-team investigation leads to another criminal conviction

04 Apr 2011

As a direct result of the work undertaken by the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the College of Life Sciences, Dundee, an RAF sergeant has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

Darren Holian, who was stationed at RAF Waddington at the time, filmed the incident and hid the movie-file on his computer. When the file was discovered four years later, Holian denied that he was the man on the film.

As the face of the abuser never appeared on the video clip, the police brought in Sue Black and her team from the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification in Dundee, who are experts on anatomy and body recognition, to make a positive identification. Professor Black’s team has also provided forensic anatomical evidence in two previous child abuse cases, where the abusers were identified from video footage through their own unique anatomical markers. The team’s investigations proved that the man in the video-clip was Holian. Faced with the evidence Holian admitted charges of sexual activity with a child and making an indecent image of a child.

In response to the verdict Professor Black said,“The offender changed to a guilty plea when presented with our analysis which, I believe, was a UK first in terms of anatomical identification.  It is particularly gratifying to have been able to achieve a result in the case of a particularly vulnerable young victim, and her family, for whom this has been an unimaginably horrendous experience.

“I’d particularly like to thank the team at CAHID: it was a very difficult case to work, for obvious reasons, and it was handled with consummate professionalism.  I am very proud to work with them.”