Dr. Sue Paterson
Sue has worked as a forensic toxicologist for over 30 years. Her career has focused on offering a service to HM Coroners. Over the years Sue has dealt with a wide variety of cases including several high profile ones both for the police and Coroners.
Her unit not only provides a routine service but is actively engaged in research. This research is focused on the problem of interpretation which is the biggest challenge in forensic toxicology. She has published 28 papers, 9 of them in the last five years, all in quality journals.
Sue acted as an assessor for CRFP from 2002 until 2009 and had taken over the role of lead assessor just before it was brought to a close. She probably carried out more assessments than anyone else; it took considerable time and energy. Sue expended the time and energy doing this because she was committed to the aims of CRFP. As an assessor for CRFP she always used the SOFT Guidelines as the standards against which she carried out her assessment. However Sue felt she should not be deciding this alone but the standards should be discussed and agreed by all concerned. It is this that initiated the collating of the guidelines which we have now all agreed.
Her experience and commitment to the profession, as demonstrated by her work for CRFP, make her a worthy candidate for a post on the UKIAFT Council.
Dr Simon Elliott has over 20 years’ experience in forensic toxicology and is a Consultant Forensic Toxicologist and Director of Global Forensics at Alere (now part of Abbott). He is also a Visiting Professor in Forensic Toxicology at King’s College London. He was formerly the founder and Managing Director of Forensics Ltd (Alere Forensics, formerly ROAR Forensics) in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK 2008-2017. Dr Elliott previously worked as a Clinical Scientist in the NHS at Birmingham City Hospital for over 10 years specifically involved in clinical and forensic toxicology as Section Head of Forensic Toxicology. He holds a BSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bath and a PhD in Biochemical Toxicology from the University of Birmingham having studied gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in his thesis. He is a Chartered Scientist and European Registered Toxicologist as well as being an active member of a number of professional bodies, including the Forensic Science Society and Royal Society of Chemistry in addition to being a founding council member for the UK & Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists (UKIAFT).
He is the author of over 60 scientific publications and articles and has presented cases at international meetings and presented evidence in both Civil and Criminal Court. He has also advised the World Health Organisation and European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
Dr Duncan Stephen
Duncan is a Consultant Clinical Biochemist/Forensic Toxicologist within the NHS at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. After training as a Clinical Scientist in Aberdeen, he took up a senior post with a specialist interest in forensic toxicology from where he later progressed to his current post as consultant. He has reported on over 7500 cases and has been called as an expert witness to both the Sheriff and High Courts in Scotland. He teaches to medical and science students in biochemistry and toxicology at the Robert Gordon University and University of Aberdeen. His teaching commitment to clinical and forensic toxicology also includes his office as an examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists.
He completed a BSc in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and a PhD in Molecular Toxicology at University of Dundee along with an MSc in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Surrey. His professional qualifications include both fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists and American Board of Forensic Toxicology, and diplomate board examinations in both clinical chemistry and toxicology of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. He is a Chartered Clinical Scientist and is state registered with the Health and Care Professions Council in the UK.
He has been an active member of both UKIAFT and TIAFT where he has attended and presented at meetings over the years. He is also an active member of the ACB, AACB, AACC, AACT, AAFS, CSCC, RSC and RCPath.
As an elected member of the UKIAFT Council, he is keen to promote forensic toxicology to stakeholders and the users of our services by supporting the development of accredited practices and appropriate training within the discipline.
Mr Peter Streete
Peter has worked within the field of toxicology at the Medical Toxicology Laboratories (formerly "The Poisons Unit") for over 34 years. He has progressed from an initial position as a trainee technician to his current position as lead scientist and head of Clinical & Forensic Toxicology. For the past 25 years Peter has been actively involved in the provision of Forensic Toxicology Services, primarily associated with work for Coroners. His work in the field of volatile substance analysis has allowed him to provide both analytical data and missing case data related to fatalities to the Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) Mortality Project for many years now. Monitoring of concentrations found in overdose with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and more particularly ibuprofen, helped proved the comparative safety of the drug and was part of the reason why Ibuprofen was allowed to be sold 'over the counter'. Peter also undertook the ibuprofen determinations in a case where an uncorrectable acidosis caused by ibuprofen resulted in what may be considered as the first fatality resulting from Ibuprofen alone.
As a participant in the UKFT Forum and UKFT Network, predecessors of the UKIAFT, Peter has welcomed the opportunity to play a part in the establishment of a structure and standards for Forensic Toxicology in the future.
Other Committee Members
Mr Simon Cosbey
Simon has worked for over 30 years in Forensic Toxicology and has been actively involved in the UK & Ireland Forensic Toxicology Network since its initial formation around a decade ago. He has attended most of the meetings (chaired/hosted as required) and has actively contributed with the evolution and development of the group. Simon is also a long-standing TIAFT member and has attended/presented at many international meetings over the years.
He is particularly interested in developing best practice in forensic toxicology, particularly through focused and structured professional development. His entire career has centred on forensic drugs and toxicology casework at Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) and was responsible for most of the analytical innovation within the section until recent years and provided much of the leadership drive during the evolution of the section during the 1980's and 1990's. As Head of Department he managed and led the scientific direction of around 20 staff. He has reported many thousands of cases over the years and is currently involved in the training and development of new reporting officers.
Mr Mike Scott-Ham
Mike joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory in 1978 which then merged with the Forensic Science Service in 1996 and he is currently the Principal Forensic Scientist for Toxicology. Mike has dealt with several thousand cases covering all aspects of forensic toxicology (RTA, ATD, DDU, Criminal Toxicology inc. poisonings, Coroners Toxicology) including many of a high-profile and/or complex nature and has made a large number (100s) of court appearances, including Coroners Courts, Crown Courts and Magistrates Courts.
Other experience includes undertaking casework and attending court for the defence and also foreign countries and he was attached to the Abu Dhabi Forensic Science Laboratory in 2007 to help train and prepare their Toxicology Section for accreditation (successfully obtained at the first attempt in 2008). Mike also trains and mentors new Reporting Officers for Toxicology and peer reviews other Reporting Officers statements. He has lectured on many occasions and is also a senior mentor on Expert Witness Training Courses.
Along with a colleague he published two key papers concerning an in-depth study of the toxicology findings in >1000 cases of alleged DFSA in the United Kingdom in the "Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine" Vol. 12 (2005) 175-186 and Vol. 13 (2006) 107-111. Mike reviews scientific papers and books for the ‘Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine’ and "Science and Justice". He is a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, London Toxicology Group and an associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine. Formerly he was an Assessor for the now disbanded Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners
Mrs Sarah Tarrant-Wooding
Sarah has worked in Forensic Toxicology for more than 14 years. She joined Forensic Alliance, now LGC Forensics, in May 2001 as a Forensic Analyst and worked in all aspects of the laboratory process, including sample extractions, instrumental processing, troubleshooting and method development. She started to report cases in August 2003 and now reports the full range of case types including coroner’s cases, RTA, alcohol technical defence and serious and specialist crime, and has been involved in a number of high profile cases. She has attended court on numerous occasions for both the prosecution and the defence.
She has led a team of reporters and undertaken training, mentoring and supporting junior reporters alongside reporting casework, and provided advice to police forces on all aspects of toxicology and in particular the use of Toxicology within the National Framework and other tenders. In September 2013 Sarah set up InSpired Toxicology offering defence work, training and casework support to a range of clients. Sarah is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has a Diploma in Forensic Medical Science.
She has organised and hosted several meetings and conferences and is particularly keen to encourage the sharing of knowledge with others practising forensic toxicologists.
Susan has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Analysis and a post graduate diploma in Forensic Medical Science. Following a post-doctoral research position in Pavia, Italy, Susan joined Forensic Alliance, now LGC Forensics in 2003 as a Forensic Toxicologist.
Susan has worked in the analytical field of forensic toxicology and has trained as a Reporting Officer, covering a wide range of case types for Coroners and Police Forces around the UK. She has also worked as a locum Forensic Toxicologist for the Government of Bermuda. She has attended court in the UK and overseas.
Susan currently spends her time training and mentoring analytical staff and junior reporters at LGC Forensics, writing and peer reviewing statements and looking into improvements, new methodology and technology for the analytical laboratory.
Sunella has worked as a Forensic Toxicologist for over 18 years. She joined the Toxicology Unit at Imperial College, formerly Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, in 1995. Working here for 5 years as an analyst in the field of Coroners Toxicology, she gained experience in sample extraction, drug screening and drug quantitation, and in a variety of instrumental techniques.
She went on to gain an MSc in Forensic Science at Strathclyde University in 2001 before becoming a Forensic Scientist in Toxicology with the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), formerly Lothian and Borders Police, where she performed toxicological analysis, prepared court reports and attended court as an expert witness for morbid toxicology, criminal, road traffic and alcohol technical defence cases.
She progressed to her current position as Team Manager for the Toxicology Section within SPA in 2009, leading a team of 13 scientists. She is responsible for the scientific direction of the team, providing guidance and support to her colleagues and advice to Police and Procurator Fiscals in matters of Toxicology. She continues to take an active role in reporting casework and attending court.
Sunella enjoys the challenges thrown up by the changing face of modern Toxicology but recognises that to meet these challenges there is need for the toxicology community to come together to share their experiences and knowledge and also a need to support the science through quality and training. She hopes to use her experience to contribute and positively influence the future direction of Forensic Toxicology though UKIAFT.
Past Committee Members
- Professor David Osselton (Chair)
- Dr Gail Cooper (Secretary)
- Mr Simon Cosbey (Treasurer)