Paul Westwood, Andrea Devlin and...
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A bank sought to recover funds pursuant to a bank guarantee. The purported guarantor denied having signed the bank guarantee and claimed that the signature thereon was a forgery.
Two images of the questioned signature appear above. The second image has the prominent anti-clockwise initial character highlighted in red as this was an important aspect of the expert evidence in the case. The significance of this prominent feature is that it always occurred at the end of the specimen signatures, not at the beginning. This paradoxical situation is referred to in the extract from the judgement reproduced below. The expert called by the defendant placed significant weight on the inappropriate placement of this prominent feature as providing strong evidence of forgery.
"Mr Westwood comments that, if the questioned signature was not written by Mr J, the "forger" has paradoxically demonstrated an intimate knowledge of Mr Js' signature style; the ability to incorporate several rare and subtle features into the questioned signature without hesitation or deliberation; and has inexplicably introduced a gross error by locating the anti-clockwise circular movement at the beginning of the signature - an error which Mr Westwood claims was bound to invite close scrutiny." (Johnson J, 2006 NSW SC 647)