Montage B

It was with this photographic montage that after four months of trying police seemingly managed to trick a Scott Watson identification out of Guy Wallace. He picked two men from below as standing out more than the others. Can you pick which two they were?

If you picked numbers 3 and 5 then you'd be correct. Guy chose number three because his eyes were half closed and number 5 because of his beard growth. Number 3 is a distorted photograph of Scott. It appears as if it has been taken through a wide angled lens and is highlighted by a blue background. Many of the facial features are unnatural especially the eyes.

Guy had previously been shown images of Scott and had ruled him out as being the mystery man. On cross-examination at the trial he admitted that for number 3 to be the mystery man he would need to:

  1. Have a good growth of facial hair.
  2. Have longer, wavier hair.
  3. Have a more unkempt look.
  4. Have a different fringe.

Guy also stated that he could not see any others in the montage whose eyes could be described as being half closed.

In summing up the judge told the jury on the question of montage identification by witnesses "there has been no attack on that form of identification". His honour was clearly wrong on this point as Defence cross-examination of Wallace was long and hard on this alleged ID and he had not said that "This is the man" but that the man in the photograph had similar eyes.

What is wrong with the montage?

  1. Photo 3 is not a good likeness of Scott. It appears to have been taken through a wide angled lens and the eyes seem to have been tampered with. Shadowing around the face may have been added to give the impression of an unshaved look.
  2. Photo 3 is highlighted by a blue background. The only other photo with a blue background is number 2 but it is not as prominent.
  3. Photo 3 is also highlighted by a bright light onto the face where the other faces appear dull.
  4. Number 7 is dark skinned. No one ever described the mystery man as being a Maori or Pacific Islander. This effectively reduces an eight-photo montage to a seven-photo montage.
  5. None of the people photographed bear any resemblance to each another with the exception of hair length and the mystery man was never described as having short hair.

Taking into account that Guy Wallace had failed to identify Scott from the images he had been shown up until he was shown montage B and his description of the mystery man as having sleepy eyes, one could almost be drawn to the conclusion that this montage was created with Guy Wallace in mind.

Wallace's purported identification was supported by the bar manager who had, as had Wallace, used this montage that was shown to her as an aid in describing the man in the bar who it was said by Wallace was also the man on the Naiad who he delivered to the ketch with the missing pair. She also had said that the eyes of photo 3 in montage B were similar to the man but he would require much longer hair and more facial growth to actually look the same.

Since that time she has read the police authorised book 'Silent Evidence' in which is a photo of Scott taken on the night at about 9:30pm. After seeing this photograph, (which she had never been shown by the police), She has come forward voluntarily and made a sworn statement that: Scott Watson was not the man who she served in the Furneaux Lodge Bar on new years eve.

It is worth noting that Wallace when shown this photo at the depositions hearing also said that if the photo had been taken on the night then Scott Watson could not be the man he was describing.

The Wallace (alleged) identification hinges on the bar manager's identification, as it is a main plank of the prosecution case that the man in the bar and the man on the Naiad are one and the same person. Guy Wallace has since also retracted his identification of Scott claiming he was tricked into it by Police.

How would you go if you had to identify a suspect?

To find out just click onto security video still below:

 

Security Video Still 

 

Gary L Wells on Identification

Montage A 

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