Advisory Panel

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Tracy Alexander, Forensic scientist specialising in cold-case reviews

Tracy Alexander

Tracy graduated from King’s College London with an MSc in forensic science and sits on the council of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences.

She has worked in forensic science for over 25 years, spending 17 years within the Directorate of Forensic Services at New Scotland Yard as Crime Scene Manager for the Homicide Command and later as Head of Forensic Intelligence.

Thereafter she worked for several years as a cold case investigation specialist at LGC Forensics.

Tracy continues to teach post-graduate forensic science at Kings College and University College London and is undertaking a PhD in complex DNA interpretation at the UCL Jill Dando Centre for the Forensic Sciences.

Her current role is Director of Forensic Services for the City of London Police.

Henry Blaxland QC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers

Henry Blaxland

Widely recognised as a leading criminal silk, Henry Blaxland QC has long-standing experience on the defence side. His practice encompasses homicide and terrorism trials, and he is often instructed in appellate matters. Sources highlight him for his strategic approach and his client care skills. "He is an advocate whom judges pay close attention to because of the quality of his legal submissions."

Ranked in Crime Band 1 by Chambers and Partners: ‘When the "absolutely superb" Henry Blaxland QC is delivering a speech he "completely dominates the courtroom," and judges "utterly trust" him. Sources say he combines "intelligence and experience"

Andrew Duffin, Investigator

Andrew Duffin

Andrew is the Operations Manager at Absolute Partnership Ltd. He has over thirty years’ of experience as an Investigator and featured as an industry spokesman on the BBC Radio 4 programme, The Report.

He is a Member of the Institute of Professional Investigators, a Qualified International Investigator with the Council of International Investigators, and an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist.

Absolute Partnership Ltd are experts at research and intelligence-gathering by both digital and traditional means. They have a proven track record for locating witnesses involved in cold cases and they provide due diligence, risk assessment and case management advice.

Lorna Hackett, Barrister

Lorna Hackett

Lorna Hackett (formerly Elliott) is a barrister called in 2003, who has conducted numerous high-profile cases in recent years. She has extensive litigation and appeals experience, particularly in the areas of judicial review and human rights.

Lorna has considerable expertise advising in cases of a sensitive nature and in which there is potential for media interest.

John Kennedy, Head of Digital Forensics

John Kennedy

John Kennedy is Head of Digital Forensics at Key Forensic Services and is the Training Programme Manager for LEVA (LEVA.org) with responsibility for delivery of training in Forensic Video Analysis to UK and European Police CCTV Officers. John has helped pioneer a number of forensic processes involving complex comparison and Reverse Projection work and these are now used by Law Enforcement Agencies all over the world. He has attended LEVA training in Forensic Video Analysis at the FBI Academy at Quantico and at the University of Indianapolis. He has attended as the guest speaker at the National FBI Academy in Quantico, at the University of Indianapolis Forensic Video Analysis training Lab and at LEVA training and development conferences in Washington State, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and San Diego.

He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and has sat on their Advisory Panel for Digital Evidence for Public Safety. He is a professional member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science.

Eric McGraw MBE, Former Editor of Inside Time Newspaper

Eric McGraw

Eric McGraw is a former Director of New Bridge (1986 - 2002) and founder of Inside Time.

He previously worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme and is the author of several books and publications on the subject of ‘world population growth’ and its impact on poverty, development and the environment.

Eric was recently invested with the MBE for services to the Rehabilitation of Prisoners in England and Wales.

Jo Millington, Forensic Scientist specialising in blood pattern analysis

Jo Millington

Jo is an experienced scientist renowned for presenting a robust and balanced overview of forensic scientific evidence to the court, in the UK and internationally.

Jo has worked hard to build a solid foundation of expertise and a reputation in the robust evaluation of complex findings and in communicating this in a straightforward manner.

She is committed to knowledge transfer, maintaining a number of collaborative links with academic institutions.

Jo currently holds the position of Senior Forensic Scientist at ArroGen Forensics Ltd. She previously worked within the Specialist Forensic Services division of the Metropolitan Police Service and as a Forensic Specialist with the Forensic Science Service (London).

Jo has both UK and international expertise in Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA) interpretation and training and has 20 years’ experience in forensic investigation including hundreds of major and critical incidents.

Correna Platt, Criminal law solicitor

Correna Platt

After graduating from Loughborough University with a Masters Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Correna undertook professional exams at the College of Law in Chester and qualified as a criminal solicitor in 1996.

Correna had the privilege of training under Campbell Malone and is committed to challenging miscarriages of justice. She is a partner and head of Appeals at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, specialising in miscarriages of justice and serious criminal cases at the Crown Court.

Correna and her team have achieved a significant number of referrals to the Court of Appeal from the Criminal Case Review Commission and have conducted a large number of successful appeals against conviction and sentence.

Correna is the secretary of the Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association.

Dr Ann Priston OBE, Forensic scientist specialising in fibre work

Ann Priston

Dr Priston is former President of the Forensic Science Society. During her early career she worked on DNA synthesis in the Nobel-Prize-winning team at King’s College London.

She joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory in 1970 and became a case-reporting officer dealing with most biological evidence until eventually specialising in the examination of textile fibres. For 10 years she concentrated on cases involving PIRA activity on the mainland and was recently given a (rarely awarded to civilians) Commissioner’s Commendation for her contribution to the investigation into terrorism on the Greek mainland over the last 30 years.

She has worked on cases from N. Ireland, Gibraltar, Malta, Antigua, Athens, Cyprus, Turkey, Norway, Bermuda, Barbados, Italy, Germany and Canada. She has delivered training presentations to the Forensic Science Service, the Metropolitan Police Crime Academy and the University of Sussex.

She is also a visiting lecturer at King’s College London teaching graduates studying for a Masters degree in Forensic Science and a tutor for the Inner Temple Advocacy Master Class. For many years Dr Priston designed and ran training days for Judges of the London Crown Courts, the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Dr Priston holds the Freedom of the City of London and in March 1998 was invested with the OBE in 2004.

Sam Robins, Intelligence Analyst

Sam Robins

Sam Robins is an ex-police Intelligence Manager and Analyst. She has twenty years’ operational experience within law enforcement. The majority of her service was with Surrey and Sussex Police. In that time she gained and developed extensive knowledge and skills in overt and covert investigations, tactical and strategic operations, intelligence and analysis.

Sam was the Chair for the Major Incident Analysts Working Group, a sub group of the Homicide Working Group. During her time as Chair she assisted in developing national guidance and continuous professional development for Analysts working in this specialist field. Having spent over 10 years working exclusively on Major Crime, Sam was privileged to work on many high-profile and sensitive enquiries such as the successful conviction of Levi Bellfield for the abduction and murder of schoolgirl Amanda Dowler and the murder of British Nationals in the French Alps.

Sam is now an independent advisor and specialist who continues to work with law enforcement and private sector clients.

His Honour John Samuels QC

His Honour John Samuels QC

His Honour John Samuels QC is a retired Circuit Judge, having sat either part-time or full-time for 27 years in the Crown Court (including 16 years as a deputy High Court judge prior to his full-time appointment). He was Chairman of the Criminal Committee of the Council of Circuit Judges and sat in the Central Criminal Court and other London Crown Courts. He was a judicial member of the Parole Board for his maximum tenure of 10 years.

In retirement he has continued to be involved with criminal justice issues: he is President of Prisoners Education Trust, has chaired the Criminal Justice Alliance; is a Vice President of Unlock, AMIMB and Tempus Novo; is a Patron of Prisoners Advice Service; and has served as a trustee of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and the Howard League for Penal Reform. He has been a visiting Professor at Nottingham Law School since 2012.

Louise Shorter, Journalist specialising in criminal justice issues

Louise Shorter

Louise Shorter chairs Inside Justice Advisory Panel meetings. She was a Producer of BBC’s long-running investigative TV series Rough Justice for 10 years before setting up this Inside Justice.

Louise is on the Board of Directors of Inside Time and was a consultant to the Guardian’s Justice on Trial website when it was launched.

Louise continues to be involved in media projects, most recently Raw Television’s Conviction series for BBC.

Dr Denise Syndercombe-Court, Forensic Scientist specialising in DNA analysis

Denise Syndercombe-Court

Denise is a highly respected scientist, academic, statistician and published author with over twenty years’ experience in laboratory research and evidential examination. She is a court-going accredited expert witness, giving evidence in court on many occasions over the last fifteen years. Her appointment as a Reader in Forensic Genetics at King’s College London has allowed her to teach forensic genetics to undergraduate and post-graduate students and supervise those undertaking research for their doctorates.

She leads an ISO17025 Ministry-of-Justice-accredited laboratory that specialises in human relationships. She is a blood pattern expert and statistician. She is a member of several professional societies (Biochemical Society, British Academy of Forensic Science, Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Forensic Science Society, Institute of Biological and Medical Sciences, International Society of Forensic Genetics, Royal Statistical Society and the Society of Biology), represents the UK on the European DNA profiling group and is the International Society of Forensic Genetics representative to the Forensic Regulator.

Since 2002 her group has been the UK partner, with other European Forensic Institutes, undertaking research in the forensic arena: STADNAP, SNPforID and EuroforGen, presenting her research and attending relevant International meetings.

Peter Vanezis OBE, Pathologist

Peter Vanezis

Peter has been a forensic pathologist since 1974 and regularly provide opinions in medico-legal cases involving forensic pathology and trauma pathology generally both for the defence and prosecution as well as for the Coroner.

Peter has been involved in many high profile cases including the death of Princess Diana. He has participated and lead teams in aircraft accidents and other mass disasters and he lead the British team in Kosovo to investigate mass graves in 1999. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List June 2001, for Forensic Pathology Services in Kosovo.

Peter has over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals, two textbooks and one in preparation as well as eight chapters in textbooks. Peter has also contributed to many international meetings.

Peter Wilcock QC

Peter Wilcock

Peter Wilcock specialises in criminal defence including regular appellate work, civil actions against the police, inquests and mental health. Peter’s criminal work has encompassed the full range of serious offences from terrorism to professional crime and fraud.

Since taking silk in 2012 Peter has been instructed in two murder trials, the Birmingham riots trial (during which it was alleged the defendants attempted to shoot down a police helicopter), two cases of rape and child cruelty, and an allegation of preparing for acts of terrorism. In addition, he has acted in a number of high-profile criminal appeals including the cases of Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon. Peter continues to accept instruction to advise in relation to criminal appeals and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). In November 2012 he gave a key-note address to the 7th Annual conference of the UK Innocence Projects.