Home Technology How Health Tech Shapes Sexual Assault Legal Proceedings in the UK

How Health Tech Shapes Sexual Assault Legal Proceedings in the UK

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In this article, we’re looking at the ways in which tech shapes sexual assault legal proceedings in the UK.

Technology can play a significant role in supporting a sexual assault lawyer with cases, says jdspicer.co.uk. One way is through digital evidence, such as text messages, emails, or social media interactions, which can help establish a timeline of events or provide context to the situation. Additionally, forensic technology can be used to gather and analyze evidence from electronic devices.

In 2023, technology means that evidence can often be found – quite literally – at our fingertips. In this article, we’re examining how health tech shapes sexual assault legal proceedings in the UK. 

How Health Tech is Shaping Sexual Assault Legal Proceedings

In 2023, sexual assault solicitors have a number of tools at their disposal to help prove their clients’ cases and, in this section, we’ll be taking a look at some of these: 

Sexual Assault Forensic Exams

Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (SAFE) use breakthrough technology in order to preserve and analyse biological evidence such as DNA to potentially identify offenders. This works by analysing swabs taken from victims’ bodies including vaginal and oral samples and then comparing it to an accused person in order to reach a probability of guilt. 

This technology has proved to be a game changer in many sexual assault legal cases and is routinely used as evidence in a wide range of cases.

Forensic Imaging Technology

During a sexual assault a victim may suffer physical injuries other than sexual-related ones such as scratches, bruises and serious wounds. Forensic Imaging Technology is used to identify and examine such injuries to be used as evidence during a sexual assault case. 

This technology can prove vital both in cases where a victim is alive and where a victim has unfortunately been unlawfully killed before or after a sexual assault. 

Digital Evidence

These days, a huge number of people live their lives through digital media such as emails, text messaging and, of course, social media – and a wealth of legal evidence can be found from these things. 

Many perpetrators believe, mistakenly, that deleting messages from their devices means that such communications are gone forever however, in many instances, this is far from the case. Digital Forensic investigators are often able to retrieve these messages and present them to a sexual assault legal proceeding as evidence. 

An example of this would be the case of Aiden Foster of Wedensbury who was jailed for rape and sexual assault after it was found that he had shared images of his crimes on US social media site, Discord.

Video surveillance

Since the 1960s, video surveillance via CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) has been used in the UK to provide security to people and businesses by monitoring activity in certain areas. 

This is essentially video camera footage which can be used to identify perpetrators at crime scenes including burglary, vandalism, assault and sexual assault. It used to be that footage gained from CCTV was black and white, grainy and, in many cases, unusable. 

However, this technology has come on in leaps and bounds and, these days, is able to capture high resolution images which are regularly used as evidence. CCTV proved to be a major contributor to the identification, arrest and subsequent Imprisonment of Wayne Cousins. 

In 2021, police officer, Wayne Cousins, abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered 33 year old Sarah Everard in a case which shocked the nation. 

Detectives working the case were able to access CCTV footage showing Sarah’s last movements as well as the hired car that Cousins used for the crime; thereby leading them to his home in Ashford, Kent. 

How Technology Also Helps Defend the Wrongly Accused 

While advanced technology can be used to protect victims of sexual assault, it can also be used to protect those who are falsely accused of such crimes. A recent example of this involves a number of men in Cumbria who were accused of grooming, trafficking and the sexual assault of a young woman named Eleanor Williams. 

During a long and complex case, investigators were able to establish – through examining CCTV footage and analysing digital messages – that Williams was a fantasist who had made up the entire harrowing story.

Health Tech Shaping Sexual Assault Legal Proceedings.. 

Falling victim to sexual assault can be extremely distressing – and even more so when the victim is forced to defend themselves without any solid evidence – a situation which often makes the victim feel that they are the ones on trial. 

It is therefore impossible to overstate the importance of health and surveillance technology in supporting victims of sexual assault and helping them to get the justice that they deserve. 

While some forms of technology – particularly AI have received some negative publicity of late, the hope is that a balance can be struck to allow these valuable tools to help take dangerous predators off our streets more often.

Last Updated: January 31, 2024

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