Mark Dallagher

Years in prison:
6
Year of crime:
1996
Year conviction was overturned:
2002

Mark Dallagher was convicted of the murder of 94 year old Dorothy Wood. Mrs Wood was found dead in her bed at home having been killed by an intruder. Forensic examination revealed earprints on the glass below a window, through which the intruder had supposedly entered. Mark Dallagher was a former small-time burglar and was arrested soon after the attack. Evidence was submitted claiming that he had left a unique ear print as he listened at the window before breaking in. This evidence was from a Dutch policeman interested in ear print identification (who had no formal forensic science qualifications) – at the time this method of identification was seen as ground breaking. The conviction was found to be unsafe because the reliability of the ear print evidence had not been properly tested at the original trial. At a retrial, new DNA evidence showed that the ear print could not have belonged to Dallagher, and he was acquitted.

View Press (innocent.org.uk)

View Press (www.theguardian.com)

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  • Offence: Murder
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Yorkshire 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 6
  • Offence convicted of: Murder
  • Year of crime: 1996
  • Year of initial conviction: 1998
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2002
  • Affirmative evidence of innocence: Y
  • Age when imprisoned: 25
  • CCRC Referral: N
  • Tried with others: N
  • Link to full case: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2002/1903.html
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence undermining forensic science
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: Yes
  • Previous appeals: Not known