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17 February 17

KFS provide handwriting analysis in Prison Officer Conviction

KFS’s Forensic Documents team provided handwriting analysis during the investigation of a prison officer who had been conducting an illicit relationship with an inmate.

Alison Sharples, who was a prison officer at Category B Garth Prison in Lancashire, has been sentenced to nine months for misconduct after having an intimate relationship with inmate Marvin Berkeley.

During a search of Sharple’s home by investigators, a handwritten love letter was discovered in an underwear drawer.

Our Forensic Documents experts were tasked with analysing the handwritten note to attribute authorship. The team compared the note that had been found concealed at Sharple’s home with the handwriting of Marvin Berkeley.

The discovery of the written document and search of Sharple’s home was triggered by a routine security search at the prison of Sharple’s handbag during which  a medical syringe containing semen was found.

Sharples and Berkeley had been planning to have a baby together and she had been handed the loaded syringe to inseminate herself.

Further investigation, provided a DNA match between Berkeley and the semen. This led to the search of Sharple’s home when the love letter was found.

Alison Sharples was sentenced to nine months in jail. 

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