March 2024

‘In a recent District Court of NSW trial we were faced with a “word on word” situation for a number of alleged sexual assaults, with very little independent evidence to assist the defence. Trace DNA, mixed profiles and elements of Y-STR science, were crucial to the prosecution.

Helen was engaged on short notice, and produced a most professional and concise report on the prosecution evidence in a tight timeframe.

The result was that the DNA evidence was not led, enabling the matter to be much shorter than would have been the case, which proceeded to “not guilty” verdicts on all counts.

Helen is a most valuable resource for analysis of a complex area of law and her advice and reports are structured for clear outcomes.

Very happy to recommend Helen to defence teams.’

John Gooley

Stacks Collins Thompson
September 2023

‘My team has engaged Helen in two trials involving complex DNA issues. In one historical case, the disclosure to the prosecution of Helen’s comprehensive report resulted in the prosecution determining not to adduce the DNA evidence at all.

It would have been crucial evidence and Helen’s assistance changed the shape of the case.

In another case, Helen’s report and ongoing assistance allowed me to effectively cross-examine the prosecution expert such that he made a number of concessions that largely neutralised the evidence.

I cannot recommend Helen highly enough’.

Andrew Culshaw

Barrister, Len King Chambers
September 2023

‘We engaged Helen Roebuck to provide expert opinion in relation to a sexual assault matter. The DNA evidence purporting to implicate my client, seemed on the face of it seemed to have strength. Consultation with Helen resulted in a thoroughly prepared report which identified areas of paucity within the Crown’s scientific evidence.

Following service of the report, prosecution withdrew the DNA evidence.

Helen’s opinion was detailed, concise and persuasive. I highly recommend Helen Roebuck’.

Amelia Ramsay

Senior Associate, Doogue and George
August 2023

‘Helen was an excellent DNA expert witness in a trial I ran in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.

Helen was able to explain complex DNA concepts in clear and easily understandable terms for the jury, including the mechanics around transference of biological material. Helen made herself available both before and during the trial to answer technical questions and assist me with preparation.

Her professionalism, dedication and expert knowledge were instrumental in the presentation of the defence case’.

Gabriel Chipkin

November 2021

‘My defence team and I worked closely with Helen during the lead up to one of South Australia’s longest running murder trials during 2021.

Her work in unpicking and explaining the intricacies of STRmix including who was and was not a contributor to a complex DNA profile was amazing’.

Gilbert Aitken

Barrister, Mitchell Chambers
May 2018

‘Helen Roebuck provided invaluable expert opinions and evidence in a committal and subsequent trial in the Victorian County Court.

Her conferences with the Crown’s expert and her evidence in Court were instrumental in establishing the deficiencies in the Crown’s DNA case, and in obtaining a great outcome for our client.

Helen was also extremely helpful to me in my preparation of examination in chief of her, and of cross-examination of the Crown’s expert.
Interpersonally she was a pleasure to deal with, and didn’t even complain when she was required to travel to give evidence in an unlovely town in regional Victoria’.

Simon Kenny

April 2017

‘I am a lawyer and have been involved in a long running case where a person was allegedly seriously injured in the course of their employment. The person was working alone on a rural property.

Without going into the facts of the case , there were many unanswered questions and it was only after retaining Helen and following a re-enactment at the property where we had photographs taken by the Authorities on the day of the incident showing the blood splatter pattern on a large workbench , that we were able to conclusively show that the worker would have to have been placed on the workbench in a particular position to give rise to that blood pattern.

Once that was established , we were able to prove that the accident could not have occurred as alleged .

Helen’s report was the ” final piece of the puzzle ” and without it we would not have been able to prove our case.

The report has potentially saved my client several millon dollars. Helen was at all times highly professional in her approach and she has my highest recommendation’.

Michael Lee

Partner, Moray Agnew
June 2016

‘Helen worked on a DNA secondary transfer and analysis of minor components to a profile matter in a District Court trial.

She was needed at short notice and was very professional, organised, and most importantly a very impressive witness.

I would not hesitate to refer her for any DNA related matters’.

Jane Murray

Senior Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW
July 2015

‘I had the benefit of Helen’s expertise and knowledge in preparation for a criminal hearing in the Local Court.

The Prosecution case relied on DNA evidence, raising the difficult issue of how to challenge insufficiently reliable forensic science evidence (which is admissible under the Evidence Act but its probative value must then be rationally evaluated by the Court).

Helen produced an independent report reviewing the DNA evidence and commenting on the Prosecution expert interpretation of the mixed DNA profile. She was generous with her time, helping me to understand the significance of particular peaks and loci in the DNA profile, and briefing me on standard practice, transference of DNA by innocent action, and interpretation models. In particular, explaining the limitations of binary DNA interpretation models and the concept of fully continuous systems of DNA interpretation – crucially pointing out that in fact both interpretation models had been used and this practice goes against the whole principal of what the fully continuous software program STRmix (used in Government labs) is trying to achieve.

Although Helen was prepared to be called by the Defence to give expert evidence, this was not necessary as the Magistrate dismissed all charges at the close of the Prosecution case, agreeing that it was dangerous to convict on circumstantial and unreliable evidence – the DNA evidence could not prove the offence beyond reasonable doubt in the absence of compelling evidence for the DNA to corroborate. The first person I called was Helen to thank her for preparing me for a successful cross-examination on forensic science evidence.

Helen is passionate in her endeavour to assist defence lawyers to understand the expression of results in expert reports (probability ratio vs “match” vs “cannot exclude” vs “include” – but how do they fit with beyond reasonable doubt?!), limitations and errors, and the validity and reliability of forensic science techniques’.

Maeve Curry

Barrister, Sir Owen Dixon Chambers