The science behind Bayley v The Queen (2016)

Alena Skalon, Jennifer L. Beaudry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Eyewitness identification was the principal evidence in DPP v Bayley (2015), wherein Adrian Bayley was convicted of raping and assaulting a woman in 2000. Twelve years after the attack, the victim identified Bayley from a photograph on Facebook and later in a formal police identification procedure. At the time of the initial Facebook identification, the victim knew about Bayley’s involvement in Gillian Meagher’s case. Bayley successfully appealed his conviction in 2016. The court of appeal held that the identification evidence had multiple weaknesses and should not have been permitted at the initial trial. In their decision, the court relied on legal precedents to support their judgement. This article reviews the empirical evidence regarding each of the issues raised by the court and how the stressfulness of an event can influence the reliability of an identification, and speculates about why the jury rendered a guilty verdict based on weak identification evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-234
Number of pages16
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayley
  • eyewitness evidence
  • eyewitness identification
  • Facebook identification
  • identification evidence
  • identification procedure
  • photoboard identification


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