Indented writing is revealed on a notepad

Foster + Freeman products were instrumental in the conviction of a double murderer who, despite his attempts to cover up his crimes, was unable to conceal evidence from investigators equipped with Foster + Freeman technology.

The trial of Andrew Dawson, a convicted murderer released on licence, was expected to span several days at Nottingham Crown Court as Dawson originally pleaded not guilty to the brutal murder of two elderly neighbours. However as the weight of evidence against the accused became clear Dawson, who called himself ‘The Angel of Mercy’, changed his plea to guilty.

As well as searching the crime scene for evidence with Crime-lites, Foster + Freeman’s high intensity LED light sources, investigators also discovered a notepad with several pages missing. Using an ESDA 2 to reveal indented writing on the blank pages the following confession, addressed to ‘the head of homicide’ was discovered


‘I want to confess to a murder, i stabbed a man to death. A man lies in a bath of water, two major wounds to his left side. This is no hoax, if you dont find him in a week I will give you his address.

The pink rose was nice touch.


The Angel of Mercy’


Following his guilty plea Dawson was given a ‘whole of life’ sentence with no chance of release.

The investigating officer Dep. Insp. Paul Callum welcomed the courts verdict following what had been a complex investigation that provided the police with many challenges.

Foster + Freeman’s ESDA 2 is the leading imaging system for detecting indented writing on documents. The ESDA technique works by creating an invisible electrostatic image of indented writing, which is then visualised by the application of charge sensitive toners. The sensitive imaging process reacts to sites of microscopic damage to fibres at the surface of a document, which have been created by abrasive interaction with overlying surfaces during the act of handwriting to produce a permanent 1-to-1 transparency of the previously invisible script. Documents are protected during the process by a thin plastic film.