Distinguishing between stamping in blood from walking through blood using blood pattern analysis

Erinta Gkikoka, Aaron Opoku Amankwaa

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Bloodstains are typically encountered in violent incidents involving the use of a weapon or physical actions, such as punching, kicking, or stamping. Bloodstain pattern analysis can provide inceptive evidence or intelligence about what happened in an alleged incident, the sequence of events, along with indicating possible suspects if blood is analysed through DNA profiling. This research project focused on the differences in patterns created on footwear during a violent action, such as stamping on a person, and a non-violent action, such as walking through a pool of blood. In this project, several experiments were designed to simulate the stamping and walking actions on a surface wet with blood: carpet, lino flooring, and belly pork meat. Two volunteers with varying body weights were recruited to perform the two actions, using a pair of trainers and a pair of Wellington boots. Defibrinated horse blood was used to simulate real human blood. It was found that the patterns created from stamping and walking through blood differed by the type of pattern and the number and size of stains. The footwear used in the stamping action was characterised by a larger contact stain on the sole than those used in the walking actions: ∼209 mm in length by ∼92 mm in width versus ∼65 mm in length by ∼60 mm in width. The stamping action produced a large number of impact spatters (∼435) on the sides of the footwear versus no impact spatters in the walking actions. The presence of impact spatters was found to be the most prominent feature that differentiated between the two actions. The findings were statistically significant (p < 0.05) and could assist in evaluating whether a defendant was actively involved in a stamping action, or the evidence found was due to innocent reasons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111805
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date29 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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