DR PHONEY; from Paternity Tests to Fingerprints,his Forensic Skills Were Crucial in over 700 Court cases.In Fact, Gene Morrison Was an Expert in Only One Thing - Brazen Deceit. How DID He Get Away with It for So Long?
Byline: FIONA BARTON
EXPOSING unrighteousness for the sake of righteousness was forensic and toxicology expert Dr Gene Morrison's self-aggrandising motto.
For 27 years, the swaggering, diminutive Jamaican - Rocky to his friends - charged grieving parents, solicitors and victims of crime thousands of pounds a time for acting as an expert witness in at least 700 cases.
But behind the air of authority and glossy image portrayed on his Criminal Forensic Investigation Bureau's website was an astonishing edifice of deceit and fabrication.
Yesterday, as Morrison of Hyde, Cheshire, a 48-year-old father of nine children by seven different mothers, was jailed for five years for 20 specimen counts of perjury, perverting the course of justice and deception, the full extent of his extraordinary double life emerged.
Morrison lied to the courts and his clients about the scientific evidence he claimed to have produced.
He said he was qualified to carry out paternity tests, analysis of CCTV footage, facial mapping of suspects, fingerprinting, the analysis of handwriting and lie detector tests.
In fact, he had no such expertise or training in any of these. Or anything else.
Brought up in Fallowfields, Manchester, after arriving from Jamaica at the age of four, Morrison left school with no qualifications. But in 1977, while leafing through a detective magazine, he spotted an advert selling degrees and made the life-changing decision to become a forensic investigator.
'It looked easier than going to a real university,' he later told the court.
And the rapidly developing science of forensics had a touch of glamour.
Psychologist Mike Berry said: 'For some people, being in court can be very exciting, seductive, real theatre, a game. He seems to be a Walter Mitty character, very insecure.
'It is difficult to say whether he is just a conman or someone who is delusional and believes the lies he tells - and genuinely believes he is doing the job.' The police are in no doubt that Morrison, who insisted on being addressed as Doctor during his trial, was a cruel fraudster who perpetuated his litany of lies after spotting how gullible people could be when 'blinded by science' and how much money could be made. The police can only guess at how much he earned, but estimates start at [pounds sterling]250,000.
And setting up was so simple. Until 1997, there was no register or regulation of forensic experts, and even now, the register is voluntary.
So the newly anointed Dr Morrison set about getting himself 'qualified'. He claimed to have degrees from Manchester and Preston Universities.
He attended neither.
Then there was the Czech Diploma in Scientific Handwriting And Analysis Of Universal Documents, a qualification that does not exist. Greater Manchester Police travelled to the Czech Republic to meet the instructors he named but they turned out to be a chimney sweep and a housewife.
The conman also claimed to have a degree in Forensic Psychology, a Master's degree in Forensic Investigation and a Doctorate in Criminology from Rochville University in America. This institution does not exist outside the internet and sells degrees for as little as $499 without the bother of examinations or studying.
The application form includes a small space in which you are invited to justify, in a few lines, the reasons why you believe you deserve a degree. A police officer who sent off for the same qualifications was awarded a degree in Chemistry because he said he had worked behind the counter at a pharmacy when he was younger.
The 'laboratory' where Morrison claimed to undertake chemical tests is his housing associationowned end of terrace house in a suburban street.
Even when he was unmasked, Morrison kept up a bizarre pretence, denying all but two of the charges and claiming he wasn't telling lies, they were just 'untruths'. …