Damage to a variety of different items and materials can be of significance and it may be important to establish, for example, how damage has been caused or where a piece of damaged material has originated from.
In assault cases where a knife has been used, it may be necessary to establish how many stab marks are present in clothing. Examination of a stab mark can provide information regarding the type of blade that has caused the damage and it is possible to compare the stab marks with different knives to help establish which knife caused the damage.
In other cases where there is a suggestion that damage may have been self-inflicted, it may be necessary to examine damage to establish, for example, whether it has been caused by a knife or cut with a pair of scissors. The examination of damage can also be important in sexual offence cases where there is an allegation that clothing has been ripped or torn during the alleged assault.
The examination of broken items can establish whether or not they were originally part of the same item (a “physical fit"). This can be valuable in cases were items such as knives have broken during an assault or where exhibits such as tape or clingfilm have been torn or cut from a roll etc.