Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Forensic psychology

4.3 DS Sund: witness interviews

Figure 7

In the next activity you will listen to recordings of the interviews that DS Sund conducted with the two witnesses, Lila and Seth.

Activity 4.4 Noting evidence (DS Sund)

Allow about 30 minutes

Listen to the interviews as many times as you like, noting down any evidence that you think will help you solve the case. Also, note down anything you notice about the questions DS Sund asks from what you’ve already learned about different types of question. You will evaluate these questions later this week.

DS Sund interviews Lila first.

Download this audio clip.
Skip transcript

Transcript

SUND
We found the getaway car just 30 minutes after the crime took place, a silver Audi A8, number plate November-Golf-5-8, Victor-X-ray-Whiskey. Liz was still inside and OK, but was very shaken and not in a state where she could really help us. The car was abandoned in Manor Green, there's a lot of warehouses round there, and lots of empty buildings. Currently our case is dependant on the testimony of two eyewitnesses. So it's important that we get as much information from them as possible, and at the same time it's important that we do not contaminate their memories. The witness is waiting for me so I'm going to interview her now.
Hi Lila it's nice to see you again, thanks for coming. How are you today?
LILA
Yeah I'm, I'm alright. Thanks. Yeah, a bit better.
SUND
OK, shall we begin the interview? It's just coming up to half past 3 on Friday, January 20th, 2014, and I just need to go over a few formalities before we start. I'm DS Lara Sund and we're here in interview room 4 at Edge Hill Park. Thank you for coming along Lila, if I say anything you don't understand please just let me know and I'll explain it in a different way. Likewise if I'm not clear on something you say, I'll let you know. If at any point I ask you something and you don't know the answer that's fine, just say that you don't know, that's not a problem. If I ask you something and you can't remember, just let me know. As the interview progresses, it might be that you do remember something that you didn't earlier and that's perfectly normal, and you just let me know you've remembered. What will happen is that when the interview is over we'll produce a written version of what you've said. You'll get a chance to read through it and make any changes you want to.
What I want you to do, Lila, is to take your time and in your own words describe what happened. Please tell me everything you can recall, even if you think a detail's not relevant I would like you to tell me about it. If it helps, try picturing yourself back at the scene. So, take your time, tell me everything you can, and start when you're ready.
LILA
One of the things that I remember very well is the number plate of the car, which was NG58 VXW. As soon as I saw the number plate I tried to memorise it. There were these 3 men carrying shotguns and they were wearing dark jackets over combat trousers, you know? It was one of these men that grabbed Liz. The man who ran over to get Liz, he was wearing a mask, a balaclava mask, a black one, and I couldn't see his face. He was shouting at Liz. He was with the other two at the security van but ran over to us. The two at the van were trying to steal this case, a case which was on a chain so they needed to use a tool like pliers. I've just remembered that he was shouting at Liz, the guy who ran over? But Liz was bent over, she was trying to use her phone. At the time it was like the 3 of us - Liz, Seth and me - it was like we weren't part of things. Not part of the robbery. I think I was standing still because I didn't want anyone to notice me and to make me part of it. I remember seeing Liz moving, getting out her phone, one of these guys, he then must've seen her as well, you know, and thought she was trying to call the police? I mean, I don't know, but he was certainly shouting at her to stop. He ran over, I'm pretty certain he fired his gun, not as us but in the air. He fired his gun and he was shouting at Liz to stop, but she was bending over, so he grabbed her and he dragged her away to the car. The others, they had the case at this point. So the doors of the car opened, all 4 of them. It was a large silver car, very expensive looking, and that was when I saw the number plate.
The brake lights, well they came on, and there was one in the back window. The doors were open and I saw the plate and I thought well, I'd better remember it. You know, it was coming towards us but, you know, backwards reversing? It was reversing towards, towards us if that makes any sense. One guy had Liz, the other two were with the security guards, taking the case, and I remember thinking... what next? It was like things had come to a conclusion, but it was all still going on. I mean, they had the case, and they had Liz, so what would happen next, if you see what I mean? And then the care came around the corner and they all ran towards it dragging Liz, and I thought - That's it. That's how this finishes and that I'd better remember the number plate.
SUND
OK then Lila, thank you. I want to ask you some focused questions now on some of the things you've told me about. So to start with I want you to describe to me where you were standing compared to everything that was going on.
LILA
We had just come around the corner of the street, which keeps on going but has like a car park area to the right? And I was standing where the car park started and the security van was at the far end of the car park, you know, so I'd say that was... I don't know, 10 feet away?
SUND
So, 10 feet would be... one wall of this room to the other.
LILA
Oh! No, no absolutely not, no, sorry. No, it was much further. Much further, do I mean... 10 metres? You know the car park in front of this building? Well the car park I'm talking about was about the same size, and I was at one side and the van and all that went on was at the other.
SUND
Ah, the car park's about 20 metres across, it's just over 70 feet.
LILA
Oh, OK... so I was really wrong about that then! I don't know about measurements. But it was like your car park.
SUND
OK, I want you to focus on the van now, and what was going on when you first noticed something was happening? So picture it in your mind now, Lila, and I want you to sit for a moment, just quietly and just concentrate on getting those specific actions in your mind.
LILA
OK...
The van was black, obviously a security van. The most obvious thing, the reason I knew something was up, was that there was a man pointing a gun at the window of the van. I think that's when I just stopped. I just stared at first, he was pointing the gun and I was thinking is there someone in there? OK, and there was another man in the street in front of us, he had a gun too, standing back, watching everything. The first man was shouting, then I saw the guard. You know, at first I thought maybe he was another robber, because he was dressed in black and had a helmet with a mask on, but then I saw that there was a third robber pointing a gun at him. So it was when these two started to fight that it all began to happen. The robber hit the guard, I think, or they were certainly struggling. That guy, the robber, he was the only one not wearing a mask. All the others, including the guard had masks, so he really stood out, you know?
SUND
You mentioned that one of the robbers did not have a mask. Again, take your time, picture him in your mind; imagine you're back there, standing in the car park. Remember the street, the van, and then focus on the man without the mask. Really try and see him in your mind. When you're ready describe him to me.
LILA
OK...so... dark hair. Darkish skin, dark clothing. I think he was wearing a hoodie. You know, because I was thinking - Why not put up the hood? Why be the only one without a mask? He wasn't Caucasian, not completely anyway. His skin and his features were, I don't know, more Mediterranean? But I would say there's something sort of... Asian about him. I mean, not Chinese, Indian perhaps? When we were at the scene, you know, when you were talking to me, and I judged his height against the van, he seemed to be about 6 inches taller than me. So about 5 foot 9. Average weight, some of the others were stocky, sort of built, maybe like they worked out. He wasn't skinny, you know, perhaps slimmer than the others, I don't know - wiry. Perhaps wiry.
SUND
Right, let's focus at the end now Lila, what was the last thing you remember of the incident.
LILA
The car driving away with Liz. It drove off in the opposite direction to us, around the corner. I guess that's why it reversed in, so that it could make a quick getaway.
SUND
Can you work backwards from there? What happened before the car drove away.
LILA
Oh I see what you mean, OK. Before it went, everyone jumped in, and before that the one who grabbed Liz dragged her to the back door and shoved her in at gunpoint and then got in after her. So she was trapped between two of them at the back. You know, I'll be honest, I remember seeing the driver but not him getting out. But then, how was he there, if not in the car, right? So the driver is shouting at them all to get in and they do, then they drive off.
SUND
You mention the driver, was he wearing a mask?
LILA
No, only the first two I saw had masks.
SUND
You were fixating on the number plate, trying to fix it in your memory, but you saw the driver.
Again, take your time, really imagine yourself back there and concentrate on the driver. When you have a good picture of him in your mind, and in your own time, describe him to me.
LILA
Caucasian. Definitely Caucasian. Tall, well, taller than me. 5 foot 9, possibly more. Tough face, older than the other one. Oh yeah, that first one? The one without the mask? He was younger, maybe early 20s. The driver was older, possibly in his 30s, short hair, dark possibly. He was wearing army stuff, like camouflage trousers. One of the masked men was too. The others were in darker stuff I think. This guy looked hard and had the physique to go with it if you know what I mean? You know what, I don't think the driver had a gun. I mean, that'd make sense right? Oh, and the unmasked man, his gun was dark. You know, black, not like a shotgun, but like a handheld one. A pistol? I think the other two had shotguns, something that you hold in two hands. Large guns. But the driver he didn't have one at all, and the unmasked robber - well, he had a pistol.
SUND
You're doing really well Lila, and I know this isn't pleasant. I just want to go back to the guard, you say they grappled together? ...
OK good, you've done really well, and we've now got a detailed description of the car. I have no more questions now, at this point, is there anything else you want to add, Lila?
LILA
Not really, I mean I feel like I could go on and on, but I think I can't think of anything I've not already said.
SUND
OK, well if you do remember anything later you've got my card and you know how to contact me. The next step is for us to produce the written version of this...
End transcript
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

DS Sund interviews Seth next.

Download this audio clip.
Skip transcript

Transcript

DS SUND
Hi Seth, nice to see you again. Thanks for coming along today. How are you feeling? I know, the weathers gone really blustery hasn’t it. Okay, shall we begin the interview?
It's just coming up to quarter to seven on Friday, January 20th 2014. and I just need to go over a few formalities before we start. I'm DS Lara Sund and we're here at interview room 4 at Edgehill Park. Thank you for coming along Seth. I appreciate your time is valuable. Do you have any questions? No. Okay,
Seth, in your own words and taking all the time you need, I want you to describe to me what happened. I want you to tell me everything you can remember, even if it seems like something that wouldn't be important, I want to know about it. It might help to try picturing yourself back there, back at the scene. So take your time, and when you feel ready, please start.
SETH
I'm not sure where to start. There was a security van. There was a car. There were four robbers. There were two guards. No, there was one guard... no, two. Ok, I'm not sure if there were two, but there was definitely one. He had the case and the robbers were trying to get it. They had guns. They fought with the guards, then they took Liz away at gun point. That's the basics, that's the main points. Don't get me wrong, I want to remember more, but I'm really struggling. I mean it was such a terrifying thing to happen. One thing I remember is the fight. One of the robbers didn't have a mask, don't ask me why, I guess he just didn't care. He was fighting with one of the guards, possibly the only guard. Well, except that when we walked up, when I first knew something was wrong was because I saw this guy point a shotgun at the windscreen. It was clear there was someone in the van, in the front seats and the guy with the gun was pointing the gun at them. Was that the odd guy? Not sure and this is going to sound a bit daft, but one of the robbers was different. They had a mask and a gun, but I would say they were different... possibly shorter, possibly, I don't know, rounder, but almost feminine? Could it have been a woman?... that is daft. But you know, maybe that helps with the description. Where was I? Yes, pointing a shotgun at the window and shouting, at the windscreen and shouting. There was a guard out of the van. He had the case. The unmasked man hit him with the gun and he just went down, fast. The two of them were then over him, pointing guns and... that was when I saw the fourth man. He was just there. Maybe I didn't see him, maybe he was hiding, maybe he came from the car. I don't know, all I know is that he was just there. Fourth man? I'm not including the guard, so there's the one in front of the van, then the unmasked one fighting with the guard.. that's three, with the one in the road in front of us. So who was the fourth, there were four. Hmmm... where was I. Yes, the guy in the road just kind of appeared. The driver! That's the fourth. The driver of the car, the silver one, and um, an Audi I think, an A6? So, the driver was in the car... where was the car though. Things were really confused. Ok. Two of them with the guard, one in the road and... no car. There wasn't a car. The car and the driver came later, because this other guy just appeared in the road and there wasn't a car. He grabbed Liz, then the car came, tyres screeching I remember that. They all get in the car, dragging Liz and they're gone.
DS SUND
Thank you. Seth, I am going to ask you some questions now, that are going to focus on the things you just described. Let's start by getting a picture of where this took place. Can you describe the surroundings?
SETH
It isn't somewhere I've been before... and not anywhere I'll be going back to! it's a square behind the shopping street. You're not allowed to park there, but there are spaces which I guess are for deliveries. The whole place is surrounded by buildings. It's not big, perhaps you could get 6 or 7 cars there. The road runs along one side. We were at the street end of the square, the van was at the other end. It was black. There were a few other cars there too.
DS SUND
Good. Now, picture the square. Imagine yourself walking into the square, the van is at the far side. What is the first thing you see? Really try and form a picture in your mind, and when you are ready tell me what you see.
SETH
Not much at first. One of them is in front of the van with a gun. Not sure that really struck me as odd, as anything at first. You know, it's just someone standing there and you don't really think much of it. Then I saw the mask. Pretty certain that one, the one I thought was a little odd, had combat trousers on. Combat trousers and a dark jacket, probably dark blue or black. Ok. Then I see the guard, because I remember thinking, oh no, the guard is not going to be happy about the guy there with the gun, and thinking, do security guards carry guns in this country? But the guard isn't looking at the van or the guy with the gun, they are looking away. I think the other robber was behind a car maybe, because then I see him. He goes over to the guard and hits him. The guard falls down. The guy looks around, at the other robber I guess. He's not wearing a mask and I can see his face.
DS SUND
Hold that image. Really focus in on his face. Get a good picture in your mind and then describe him to me.
SETH
Middle Eastern? Dark clothes, nothing distinctive. Not sure why I say he was Middle Eastern. Not really Caucasian, not really Asian, not really anything obvious. I think I say Middle Eastern because he seems to remind me of an actor. Don't know his name but he always plays Middle Eastern men. Other than that, average height, average weight and dark hair.
DS SUND
You said one of the robbers was standing in the road and you suddenly noticed him. Can you describe that person to me? Picture the scene again, you're standing there, in the road, this person is in front of you. When you are ready, and in your own time, get as good a picture as you can and then describe them.
SETH
This is not so easy. He could have been the driver, but I'd say the car wasn't there yet. Also, I think I could see the face of the driver. This guy, he was the one that came for Liz. He walked towards us and he definitely had a shot gun. I'd say he fired it. There was something odd about his face. I couldn't really see it. I think he may have been wearing sunglasses, and a hat. Dark sunglasses that meant you couldn't really see him. Whatever, I just cannot see his face in my mind. He definitely had a gun though.
DS SUND
Let's focus on the driver and the car. When did you first see the car?
SETH:
That is a good question. In my mind I have this image of the car pulling up and everyone jumping out, but when I think of the guy grabbing Liz, he is standing in the road and there is no car. My guess is that the car pulled up when he was grabbing Liz. He was shouting at her and at us not to look, and, you know, when a guy with a shot gun tells you not to do something, you don't do it! He dragged Liz, who was bent over, and then the car was there. The driver? Ok, the guy with Liz definitely gets in with her, into the back. So he wasn't the driver right? There was this guy at the front of the car, I hadn't seen him before. He is shouting and is not wearing a mask.
DS SUND
Let's focus more there. Picture this man as best you can. Take your time. Focus in on him and when you are ready, describe him.
SETH
He's white, quite tall, not skinny not fat, probably athletic? Not sure. I can't really see his hair, so would say it wasn't anything, you know, to mark him out. Average height, average build, average face... just, average.
DS SUND
You're doing really well Seth, I know this is hard for you. I want to go back to the guard. I think we’ve got everything for today.. I've got no more questions right now. Is there anything else you want to add?
SETH
To be honest, I didn't think I'd remember one tenth of what we've covered. I really don't think there is anything more to add.
DS SUND
Ok. Well if you do remember anything later, you've got my card and you know how to contact me. The next step is for us to produce a written version of.
End transcript
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Remember that you can return to the interviews to help you complete the evaluation exercise.

FPSY_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus