There were “insufficient details” to match Sheku Bayoh’s boot prints to a mark found on a vest worn by a police officer that he allegedly stamped, an investigation has heard.
Alison Marven, who works in the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) forensic laboratory, analyzed a vest worn by PC Nicole Short on the day of Mr Bayoh’s arrest and death in May 2015.
An inquest into the circumstances of the 31-year-old’s death, how police handled the aftermath and whether race was a factor is underway in Edinburgh.
Other officers have already told the inquest they saw Mr Bayoh trample PC Short after she fell to the ground during the incident in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
However, other witnesses questioned whether the tampon took place.
A man who witnessed the arrest from his home said he did not believe the stamp could have happened.
Last week a medical consultant said he would have expected to see more evidence of fractured ribs if that had been the case.
A representative from the Scottish Police Federation said she saw a mark on the PC’s vest which looked “roughly the shape of a shoe”.
On Friday afternoon, Ms Marven was questioned by lead inquest lawyer Angela Grahame QC.
She said she compared the mark on Pc Short’s vest to an imprint of “Urban Logic” branded boots worn by Mr. Bayoh.
There was only a “partial mark” on the vest, she said, and it was not possible to determine a general pattern of a shoe mark.
The inquest showed notes from his examination, which said: ‘The markings on the jacket may have included a triangle.
“It’s possible that it was one of the elements of the shoes of the deceased, but there really isn’t enough detail/resolution for any meaningful comparison.”
Asked by Ms Grahame whether the markings on the vest matched the imprint of the boots, Ms Marven told the inquest: ‘No, we found there was not enough detail for us to orient the mark of the shoe from the sole of the shoe with the marks we found there.
“That’s why it was insufficient for a meaningful comparison. We couldn’t steer him in any way.
On Friday morning, the inquest heard from another SPA forensic expert who examined the vest.
Laura MacPhie, who works in the SPA’s Brand Enhancement Lab, performed an examination of the high-intensity light source on it.
Responding to questions from the inquest’s junior lawyer, Laura Thomson, Ms MacPhie said she had paid particular attention to an “area of discoloration” on the back of the vest.
Ms MacPhie said: ‘I guess what was asked for as possible shoes was the fade mark area, but I didn’t see anything of recordable detail inside.’
She said her colleagues asked if the mark could be a partial shoe print and if she could improve it, and that she was aware of the alleged stamp.
She added: ‘I didn’t see anything relevant or anything that looked like shoes when I did my fluorescence exam.
Earlier Friday morning, SPA scene examiner Judith Harley testified at the inquest.
She said she took photos of Pc Short, who is now retired, on May 3 and 8, 2015. The investigation showed photos of Pc Short’s face, hands, elbows and knees.
Ms. Thomson asked why there were no photographs of Pc Short’s torso or back.
Ms Harley said: ‘I can only assume it was never asked or asked for.
The inquiry before Lord Bracadale continues.