The forensic team of Approved Forensics Sdn Bhd (AFSB) was approached to determine the authorship of signatures on agreement documents. Since the agreement involves legal transactions, clients required our service to determine if the signatures on the questioned documents and the reference documents are signed by the same person. The questioned signature will be hereafter known as signature A throughout this article. Our team were provided with four different exhibits containing signatures for authorship determination purpose. The exhibits were labelled as E2, E3, E4, and E5 respectively. The signatures were subjected to microscopical and macroscopical analysis where features like alignment, initial strokes and terminal stroke morphology, connecting stroke, pen width, line quality, I-dots and T-bars of the signatures were visually compared. This was done to determine if the signatures were signed by the same signers. The initial strokes of signature A on exhibits E2, E4 and E5 were made as a steep straight upstroke whereas the upstroke of E3 appears slightly curved as represented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Comparison of the morphology of initial stroke formation of Signature A
The terminal strokes of signature A on exhibits E2, E4 and E5 were made as a straight downstroke without tailing but the terminal stroke of E3 is made as a curve with tailing as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparison of the morphology of terminal stroke formation of Signature A
The stroke indicated by green line is made as a continuous stroke without a pen lift in E2, E4 and E5 but a pen lift is evident in signature A on E3 (refer Figure 3).
Figure 3: Comparison of stroke formation of Signature A
Based on a thorough visual comparison of signatures on questioned and reference documents, AFSB’s forensic team concluded that signer on exhibits E2, E4 and E5 is inconsistent with signer for exhibit E3.