Damage Tag

Torn or cut? – Examining damage to clothing

cut or tear damage to woven fabric

In some cases, the need to examine damage to clothing may be evident, for example in a stabbing scenario. Here the scientist might examine stab cuts and potentially consider whether they may have been made with a specific weapon for example.  However, there are other situations where the examination of damage might be overlooked but may provide useful information.  In an alleged sexual offence it is usual to examine underwear and other clothing for the presence of semen (and other relevant body fluids depending on the scenario) and to attempt to obtain a DNA profile of the offender. But even where it is alleged that clothing has been removed forcibly, damage is less often considered.

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