Profiles

Forensic Scientists

Andrew Wade BSc MSc FFSSoc

Andrew is a world renowned forensic scientist with over 30 years experience as a practitioner.

He joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory in the chemistry section where he reported on numerous cases as a court going officer. In 1989 he transferred internally to the specialist Fire Investigation Unit. He resigned from the FSS in 1996 and took a post with West Yorkshire Police as a Forensic Science Manager, until 2000.

Andrew has specialised in fire and explosion investigation during this time and has visited in excess of one thousand fire scenes and other incidents. These have included several high profile and sensitive cases such as the 1992 fire at Windsor Castle and the examination of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in terrorist and other criminal cases. His other areas of expertise include the examination and comparison of many types of materials including glass, paint, footwear marks, tyre marks, locks and toolmarks.

Andrew has presented expert evidence on over 200 occasions at courts of all levels. He has trained other forensic scientists, scenes of crime officers, police and fire brigade personnel in various aspects of forensic science. He also lectures in forensic science at Manchester Universitiy.

Andrew was a Registered Forensic Practitioner (RFP) and Speciality Assessor with The Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) before its demise in 2009. He is a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and the British Association for Human Identification (BAHID). Andrew is also listed with Sweet & Maxwell (formerly Law Society) and the National Crime Agency as an accredited expert.

Karen Wade BSc CChem CSci MRSC MFSSoc

Karen is a highly experienced practicing forensic scientist with an excellent reputation in the field of forensic chemistry.

Karen has over 20 years experience as a forensic scientist; being previously employed at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory; the Forensic Science Service, Wetherby, and with Forensic Alliance Limited, (now LGC Forensics).

She has expertise in a range of forensic evidence types including fire and explosion investigation,  liquid fire accelerants, footwear marks (including the chemical enhancement of footwear marks and footwear marks on bodies), glass, security dyes, drugs and other forensic chemistry evidence. Karen also has extensive experience in forensic analytical techniques such as Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, and Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography and the interpretation of analytical data. She has given expert evidence on a number of occasions.

She has been involved in the training of police, scenes of crime and laboratory personnel in various aspects of forensic work. She was also a lecturer in Forensic Investigation at Staffordshire University, .

Helen Davies (Rea) MSc, BSc, MFSSoc

She is a highly regarded forensic biologist and expert witness, with extensive experience in the most serious of criminal cases. 

Helen specialises in biological examinaitons and has experience of a broad range of scientific techniques, scene attendance and court experience as an expert witness.

Helen has reported on a diverse range of body fluid cases in many high profile and serious incidents including hundreds of sexual assault and blood pattern cases.

Helen is an expert in the interpretation of DNA profiles, including complex mixtures and Low Copy Number (‘HSP’ or ‘low template’) cases. She has an in depth knowledge of present and historical DNA profiling techniques and statistical evaluation, Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA), at crime scenes and on weapons and clothing. Her expertise also extends to the examination and interpretation of body fluids; blood, semen, saliva, cellular material.

Roderick Stewart BSc (Hons) LLB

Roderick “Eric” is qualified as a BSc (Hons) from Glasgow University and, unusually a law degree (LLB) from Strathclyde University.

He has over 40 years experience in Forensic Science starting his working life as an Industrial Engineer before embarking on a career as a Forensic Scientist with City of Glasgow Police. He spent two years in this position before the reorganising of the police service in Scotland created Strathclyde Police of which he was ultimately Head of Chemistry within the Forensic Science Laboratory. In 2002 he joined a private Forensic Science provider in England where he held several senior positions and most recently was a scientific advisor.

Eric has extensive knowledge of Forensic Chemistry, in particular fire and explosion investigation, Road Traffic Accidents (tyres and various components), paint, glass, footwear , inks, drugs analysis, general marks enhancement, fingerprint enhancement etc. He has extensive experience of major crime scene examinations and has acted as an expert witness for both prosecution and defence in courts throughout the United Kingdom.

Examples of Major cases in which Eric's evidence played a major part include: Victoria Hospital Fire (1981), Lockerbie Air Disaster 1988, April Jones Murder and Abduction 2012, Bolton Gas Explosion 2012 and Murder of Diane Lee (2013) and West Coast Mainline Fires (2004 2005).


Dr John Twibell BSc, PhD, CChem, MRSC

John is a world leader in the investigation of fires, expecially those of electrical origin.

He has over 34 years experience as a Forensic Scientist, in both research and case working capacities, most of this with the Forensic Science Service (FSS). Over the period 1974 –2000, he was engaged in the scientific examination, testing and comparison of a wide variety of items covering a range of evidence types, and has visited numerous scenes of crime and other incidents to recover evidence and to interpret the findings. His main specialism was in the investigation of electrical matters such as electrical causes of fire, electrocution and murder or attempted murder by electrocution, etc.

After leaving the Forensic Science Service in November 2000 he entered private practise as a Forensic Consultant and also became a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Sciences at Anglia Polytechnic University (now renamed Anglia Ruskin University), Cambridge.

John is an Affiliate of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (formerly the Institution of Electrical Engineers) and a member of the Forensic Science Society.

He has written numerous scientific publications in his specialist subject areas and has given many lectures at forensic science meetings in the UK and abroad. He wrote the Electricity and Fire chapter for a new UK book “Fire Investigation” (Edited by N NicDaeid, published in 2004 by Taylor and Francis/CFC).

Philip Gilhooley FFS

Philip has been employed in the analysis, comparison, evaluation and identification of persons by means of the friction ridge detail on their fingers, thumbs, palms and soles of their feet for over forty four years and is a registered expert in this field.

He has successfully completed National training programmes leading to Advanced Fingerprint level and during his Police employment he was included on the Government and Police National Register of Fingerprint Experts (Registration number 326). Philip was registered with the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (Registration Number 0089) and was a lead Assessor for the Council and a member of the National Sector Investigation Panel before the demise of CRFP in 2009.

He was employed in the Fingerprint Bureau of Merseyside Police for 43 years, attaining expert status in 1970 after successfully completing the advanced Fingerprint Course at New Scotland Yard.

In 2004 he was promoted to Chief Fingerprint Officer, Head of the Fingerprint Bureau, responsible for the management of over 40 members of Fingerprint, administration and Chemical Laboratory Staff. He was also the Bureau Training Officer, registered with the National Training Centre for Scientific Support. He is qualified in training and Development with CIPD (Institute for Personnel and Development).

Over the years he has attended numerous crime scenes including many high profile murder and terrorist cases. He has presented expert evidence on numerous occasions to courts at all levels in this Country and once in Canada.

Since 2007 he has been engaged as a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at Liverpool John Moores University.

Richard Thomas BA

Richard has a wealth of experience in forensic photography and video, having previously worked for the Metropolitan Police, Gwent Police and LGC Forensics on many high profile cases, attending crime scenes and providing evidential images of the highest standard.

Applying experience and many advanced photographic techniques such as Infra Red, Ultra Violet, micro and macro photography, Richard is familiar with Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Helicon and Mobile Agent software. First Forensic is pleased to deliver a reliable and dependable imaging service from a qualified, professional photographer.

He is qualified with a BA (Hons) in Design Photography, a BTEC in Photography and has undertaken advanced photography training at the Met. Police Training College, Hendon.

Philip Boyce BSc MSc

Philip Boyce is a leading expert in Firearms, Gunshot Residue (GSR) and Tool Marks. 

He has examined countless items, scenes and related items; providing expertise at medical examinations, post mortems and exhumations.  He has provided thousands of expert statements for both the prosecution and defence and given expert witness testimony for many courts, both in the UK and internationally.

Philip has been  a Forensic Scientist since 1984, having served in the Territorial Army from 1977.  He left at the rank of Sergeant Technician/Weapons Instructor, joining FSNI (Forensic Science Northern Ireland) where he remained until 2002.  Philip’s 18 years of service during the Northern Ireland troubles have given him an unrivalled level of Firearms/Ballistics/Gunshot Residue/Tool Marks and scene expertise within the UK. He then went on to work at Forensic Alliance and Key Forensic Services Ltd.

Philip is a member of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENSFI), the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) and is a National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) expert advisor.  In the past he was part of the NFFID (National Forensic Firearms Intelligence Database) Service Providers Group and contributed to the NABIS (National Ballistics Intelligence Service) program as a Senior Associate.

Dr. Philip Harrison BTech(Hons) PhD

Dr Harrison has over thirty five years case work experience - predominantly in physical evidence (glass, paint, footwear and miscellaneous materials), metallurgy/traffic work, organic and inorganic analysis and fire/explosive investigations. He was employed for most of this time by the Home Office Forensic Science Service and engaged by a private consultancy.

A scene and court going reporting officer for virtually all of the above years working closely with the Police and Judicial system. He has been  involved in many different types of major investigations, including murders, suicides, fatal fires, armed robberies, rapes etc. and investigated a major fire in Grenada on behalf of the British Embassy.

He has written a number of technical papers on Forensic Science, particularly on the interpretation of glass evidence.

He has lectured for a number of years on fire investigation to scenes of crime officers at the Police National Training Centre (Centrex), Harperley Hall and was also the Lead Fire Investigator for the two week Fire Investigation Course run jointly between Centrex and the Fire Service College at Moreton in Marsh. Organised and ran two Assessment Courses for new fire investigators in the Forensic Science Service.

Phil has also been involved lecturing at the University of Teesside; setting up and running the Forensic Chemistry Module of the MSc Course in Forensic Science. Fire, footwear and glass related criminal casework together with casework and Quality Assurance checking for a Police force in footwear related cases.

Alison Reboul BSc MSc

Alison has specialised in the forensic examination of documents for over twenty years and  has worked on several high profile and complex cases including counter terrorist cases.

She joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science laboratory in 1986 and became a document examiner. In 1990, she moved to the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC), then to the Forensic Science Service in 1993, where she worked until 2011.

During this time she has conducted numerous document examinations, reporting on her results and giving expert evidence in court. She has attained a high level of proficiency in the use of ESDA and VSC in order to determine the nature of indented impressions and alterations present on documents. She has extensive experience in the recording, comparison and assessment of the significance of features within handwritten documents and has expressed opinion regarding authorship of questioned documents. She has carried out a wide range of other document related examinations including the comparison of inks, examination of forged documents and the sequencing and dating of entries. She has experience in the examination of items to determine the nature and origin of both traditionally printed documents and those produced by modern office machinery.

She has also produced training packages and delivered forensic awareness courses.