The Latest News

February 2014

Gill Tully and Kevin Sullivan presented to the General Department of Criminal Evidence (GDCE) in Kuwait. PFS seminar on Forensic Genetics: Quality, Accreditation & Interpretation Considerations.

PFS Seminar - Kuwait

PFS seminar on Forensic Genetics in Kuwait Feb 2014

Gill Tully and Kevin Sullivan

PFS experts are giving a series of presentations at UCL Centre for Forensic Sciences Thursday Seminars – Julie Allard, Sue Pope and David Baldwin have presented to date, more to come!

Gill Tully explained how to take R&D to market at the Forensic Science Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting ‘Public funding for R&D’.

November 2013

Gill Tully, Kevin Sullivan and Sue Pope presented at the FSSoc conference on Forensic Horizons 2013 in Manchester on 6-8 November; Julie Allard also attended; Gill and Kevin chaired sessions and discussion panels

October 2013

PFS are very pleased to announce that they have been successfully awarded three contracts.  The first two are to produce the Forensic Science Regulator Codes of Practice and Conduct Draft Guidance on Method Validation for Digital Forensic Science and Cognitive Bias Effects relevant to Forensic Science Examinations.

The third contract is to deliver Low Template DNA training for Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI).

Sue Pope of PFS visited Chengdu, China on 16-17 October to present at a meeting on the International Development of China in DNA Technology, together with Life Tech.

May 2013

PFS pleased to be an Associate of CSI Drug and Alcohol Testing Ltd

CSI Executive Chairman Trevor Hall has announced the creation of CSI Laboratories. The laboratories will be located in the NETPark Science and Technology complex at Sedgefield, County Durham.

Dedicated initially to supporting employers with workplace drug & alcohol solutions, the laboratories will specialise in Oral Fluid analysis, Urinalysis and the provision of Hair analysis via the Psychemedics Corporation. The laboratories will also be conducting R&D of drug related activity across a variety of disciplines.

CSI will utilise PFS’ expert capabilities in any relevant forensic investigations particularly complex cases under the guidance of Mike Scott-Ham, PFS toxicology expert, who is also Science Director for CSI.  The laboratory plans to be up and running by the end of June 2013.

Further details re CSI can be found here http://www.csidrugsandalcohol.co.uk

March 2013

Jonathan Whitaker of Principal Forensic Services talked to Channel 4 about the use of familial DNA testing which it is hoped will solve a murder on a train from 25 years ago. Jonathan led the team of scientists who developed familial DNA searching in 2002.

 Another scientist from Principal Forensic Services, Julie Allard, was also involved in the investigation of this case and preparation of the DNA profiles.  Blood which the offender left at the scene was originally subjected to blood grouping by another scientist who attended the crime scene and first dealt with the case.  Remnants of the bloodstaining were retained at the FSS London laboratory and in the 1990s Julie submitted samples from these for DNA profiling. The results were loaded onto the National DNA Database but no matches have been found. Hopefully the familial DNA tests now being done will help identify the offender.

http://www.channel4.com/news/dna-breakthrough-may-help-crack-train-murder-cold-case

February 2013

With the recent case of the French identical twins who have been implicated in serial rape, Quentin Cooper, BBC Radio 4, asks forensic geneticist Gill Tully from Principal Forensics Services how DNA helps the police to find perpetrators.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qmxft

November 2012

PFS – article published in the Law Society Gazette today written by Sue Pope, Ian Evett and Gill Tully:

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/in-practice/practice-points/forensic-science-police-piper-calls-tune

October 2012

Gillian Leak Presents at: International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts Annual Conference, October 2nd-5th, 2012, Tucson, Arizona

Gillian Leak of PFS presented ‘Double international homicide -An independant review’ at the iabpa blood pattern conference held recently in Tucson, Arizona. This talk detailed a case which had already gone for trial but the judges were unable to reach a verdict. She was instructed to review the original case findings and testified at the second trial. A guilty verdict was announced following the re-trial’.

Gillian Leak Presents At The Annual IABPA Conference

Gillian Leak – 3rd from right on front row.

September 2012

PFS Presents: The Intergrity of Scientific Evidence

Understanding and Minimising the Risk of Contamination in the Forensic Process, Fri 21st Sept, The Royal York Hotel, York

This very successful one day workshop designed and presented by PFS was held in conjunction with the Forensic Science Society at the Royal York Hotel.   The day was a unique opportunity to meet PFS practitioners involved in different parts of the forensic science process, from crime scene through to interpretation of scientific evidence and its presentation in court.  The day was attended by a large number of delegates representing forensic scientists, crime scene examiners, lecturers, students and police officers wishing to enhance their understanding of how to minimise, control and manage the risk of contamination in the whole forensic process.  Break-out groups featured lively debate discussing current practices for detecting contamination and tools for the future in crime scene management, GSR, DNA & body fluids and quality systems.  The output from the break-out groups proved to be very constructive and the issues discussed were captured and following the workshop shared with delegates and the Forensic Regulator.  We hope this will translate to raising awareness and standards in this area.

The learning points for the day included:

  • Identifying the risks and consequences of contamination events.
  • Looking at key practices and appropriate standards needed to minimise contamination in the whole forensic process.
  • Exploring ways in which contamination can be detected and monitored.
  • Identifying the mechanisms of contamination using real examples.
  • Discovering interpretational aspects of results drawing on assessment and interpretation principles to help evaluate whether contamination has occurred.
  • Covering the development of new standards and policies in relation to contamination.

PFS-FSSoc Contamination Workshop

From left to right: Julie Allard, Jonathan Whitaker, Kerri Allen, Sue Pope, Mike Barber, Anne Priston, Angela Shaw, Gill Tully and Kevin Sullivan.

August 2012

Hannah Barnes investigates the state of the forensic science industry in the UK, with contributions from Susan Pope. Click here to listen to the programme.

June 2012

PFS Present at Caribbean Association of Prosecutors, Transnational Forensic Workshop, Grand Cayman, 14-15th June 2012

PFS Present at Caribbean Association of Prosecutors – 14-15 June 2012

From left to right: David Baldwin (PFS); Angela Shaw (PFS); Kris Cunningham (Ontario Forensic Pathology Service); Alfredo Walker (Ontario Forensic Pathology Service); Neil Rylatt (CSM, West Yorkshire Police); Gillian Leak (PFS); Adrain Waterman (QC); Steven Payne (retired DS, West Yorkshire Police); Trevor Ward (Deputy DPP, Cayman Islands); Michael Barber (PFS); Tim Clayton (LGC); Mark Robinson (ex-FSS) and Cheryl Richards (DPP, Cayman Islands)

PFS were very honoured to be invited to present at The Transnational Crime and Forensic Science Workshop held in the Cayman Islands on the 14-15th June. The workshop was organised by the Caribbean Association of Prosecutors with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the Overseas Territories Department Criminal Justice Office in Miami and the Eastern Ontario Regional Forensic Pathology Unit in Canada.

The theme ‘Enhancing the Effectiveness of Prosecutors in a Challenging Environment attracted’ thirty-nine delegates from the Caribbean British Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth Caribbean countries, along with 23 Cayman Island delegates, comprising prosecutors and RCIPS personnel including crime scene managers and police officers.

Delegates at the workshop received training in critical forensic techniques, pathology in homicides, transnational crimes’ issues and the care of victims in serious crimes. Experts from PFS provided forensic science training in blood spatter pattern analysis, fingerprint identification, footwear marks and gunshot residue. The workshop also underscored the principles of evidence-based cross-examination, the role of the defence expert witness and the effective prosecution of transnational crimes.

April 2012

Press Release 

PFS Ltd:

New forensic science company draws on over 250 years’ experience

London, 2 April 2012 … With over 250 years experience between them, today sees 11 internationally renowned forensic scientists join forces to launch Principal Forensic Services Limited (PFS Ltd.) – estimated to be one of the most concentrated pools of forensic science talent operating in the UK today.

PFS Ltd. will provide impartial forensic science consultancy, training, advice and casework capability to defence, prosecution and regulatory bodies. It will also work with the UK criminal justice system to drive the development of nationally recognised standards for the UK forensic science market.

The PFS Ltd. Directors were all leading scientists at the recently closed Forensic Science Service (FSS) providing expert analysis in a catalogue of major national and international criminal investigations including: the PIRA campaign 1989-1993; the murder of Rhys Jones; the identification of Tsar Nicholas II and his family; the murder of PC Dunne; the appeal of James Hanratty and the disappearance of UK backpacker Peter Falconio. PFS will continue to provide unbiased and robust expert testimony worldwide.

The specialist services available include DNA, Body fluids, Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA), Firearms, Gunshot Residue (GSR), Toxicology, Marks and Traces (e.g. footwear, toolmarks, paint and glass) and Quality Review.

With the UK’s forensic science market facing significant challenges and changes as a result of the closure of the FSS, the launch of PFS Ltd. ensures that these skills are maintained for use across the UK’s criminal justice system. In addition, it offers the depth and breadth of experience required to robustly take on the review of casework along with the ability to review and advise on any quality issues that may arise in the future.

Mark Mastaglio, one of the Directors of PFS Ltd., comments: ‘With our passion for forensic science, it seemed natural to bring together our combined skills under the umbrella of PFS Ltd. rather than allowing our combined experience to disperse across an increasingly fragmented market place.’

‘One of our strengths is that we bring together our skills to assess multi-disciplinary issues that may arise in a case as well as having the experience required to peer review each other’s work for court room purposes.’

The PFS Ltd. team consists of: Julie Allard, David Baldwin, Mike Barber, Gillian Leak, Mark Mastaglio, Sue Pope, Mike Scott-Ham, Angela Shaw, Kevin Sullivan, Dr Gillian Tully and Dr Jonathan Whittaker.

Ends

Notes to editors:

  • Principal Forensic Services Ltd. is an independent partnership of world-leading forensic scientists covering each of the main forensic science disciplines. It offers impartial consultancy, training, advice and casework capability to both the defence, prosecution and regulatory bodies in the UK as well as abroad.
  • The Directors of PFS Ltd have also been involved in the following investigations: the “Unibomber” investigation, the murder of Jill Dando, the  murder by Kenneth Noyes, the HMS Astute murder and attempted murders, the unmasking of bogus defence “expert” Godwin Onubogu.
  • Background to the forensic science market:
    • According to National Police Improvement Agency figures, police budgets attributed to forensic science providers has shrunk from £175 million in 2008/09 to £138 million by 2010/11. With increased pressure on police budgets, following the Government’s spending review; estimates for the police budgets allocated in 2011/12 are as low as £80 million.
    •  It is thought that all forensic science providers have seen a reduction in the number of submissions received from police forces across the UK as a result of budget pressures.
    • The introduction of competitive tender processes has led to the fragmentation of different casework disciplines across multiple forensic science providers rather than allowing a holistic case review.
    • The Forensic Science Service (FSS) was the UK’s largest forensic science provider supporting over 120,000 cases per year and employing approximately 1300 forensic scientists. Following the government’s decision to progressively wind down the FSS, it officially ceased operations at the end of March 2012.
    • It is estimated that only 10-20% of former FSS scientists have remained in the industry leading to a massive reduction in the forensic science skills available in the UK when compared to the rest of the world.

For more information, contact:

Mark Mastaglio, Director of Principal Forensic Services Ltd.

Mobile: 07941 116210

Lisa Palmer, PR & Communications Consultant

E-mail: lisapalmer5@hotmail.com

Mobile: 07985 117170