In a judiciary setting, questions regarding the mechanisms of transfer, persistence, and recovery of DNA are increasingly more common. The forensic expert is now asked to evaluate the strength of DNA trace evidence at activity level, thus assessing if a trace, given its qualitative and quantitative features, could be the result of an alleged activity. The present study is the reproduction of a real-life casework scenario of illicit credit card use by a co-worker (POI) of its owner (O). After assessing the shedding propensity of the participants, differences in DNA traces' qualitative and quantitative characteristics, given scenarios of primary and secondary transfer of touch DNA on a credit card, a non-porous plastic support, were investigated. A case-specific Bayesian Network to aid statistical evaluation was created and discrete observations, meaning the presence/absence of POI as a major contributor in both traces from direct and secondary transfer, were used to inform the probabilities of disputed activity events. Likelihood Ratios at activity level (LRa) were calculated for each possible outcome resulting from the DNA analysis. In instances where only POI and POI plus an unknown individual are retrieved, the values obtained show moderate to low support in favour of the prosecution proposition.
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