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Sue Carney

Lecturer in Forensic Science, Consultant Forensic Science
School of Natural Sciences

Sue Carney is an operational consultant forensic scientist and chartered forensic practitioner (Biology), teaching part time at UCLan. Sue's expertise is in DNA and body fluids evidence, including DNA mixtures, low template DNA profiles, blood pattern analysis and fabric damage. Her teaching focuses on presenting a real world view of forensic science with particular emphasis on the interpretation and presentation of evidence.

Sue is module leader for the 3rd year undergraduate "Application of Forensic Science" module and for the postgraduate "Expert Witness" module. Her modules focus on the role of the reporting officer and the interpretation of evidence. Sue's research interests include the forensic investigation of sexual offences, the Bayesian interpretation of forensic science evidence and the application of quality standards to forensic science. Sue consults on casework both Nationally and Globally via her consultancy company, Ethos Forensics. She has worked on cases from as far afield as Russia, Georgia and Hong Kong and has presented expert testimony in Crown Court on numerous occasions. She has consulted for the human rights project, Reprieve, and for the Cardiff University Innocence Project on a number of post-conviction cases.

Sue began her career at the former Forensic Science Service in 2001. During her time there she was involved in establishing the FSS’s specialist Sexual Offences Service. This included the provision of training to participating police forces and forensic medical examiners, the accelerated reporting of sexual offences cases, and the provision of upfront case strategies to participating police forces. As part of this project, she designed and built intelligence databases for all of the participating police forces to investigate trends in casework data. Sue reported specialist Low Copy Number DNA evidence whilst at the FSS. This technique was used extensively in cold cases, in particular, Greater Manchester Police’s Operation Advance, a review and re-examination of GMP unsolved sexual offence and murder cases dating back more than forty years. After five years reporting, Sue began mentoring trainee reporting officers and became heavily involved in the FSS Reporting Officer training programme, in particular, the Case Assessment and Interpretation and Expert Witness courses. After closure of the Chorley FSS laboratory in 2011, Sue established Ethos Forensics with the aim of providing a higher standard of forensic biology consultancy to criminal defence Counsel than that she had previously encountered. She also sought opportunities to use her auditing expertise and knowledge of quality management to assist other forensic science organisations, and to provide advice and training. Operating as Ethos Forensics, Sue has consulted on a diverse range of Forensic biology casework, reviewed the requirements of forensic laboratory facilities in Uganda and Bahrain, and taught a wide variety of forensic science practitioners, including a multidisciplinary cohort of Libyan forensic staff, and students in guest lectures at a variety of universities and other institutions.

  • MPhil Biochemistry & Applied Molecular Biology, UMIST, 1997
  • BSc (Hons), Genetics & Microbiology, The University of Sheffield, 1994
  • DNA Evidence
  • DNA Mixture Interpretation
  • Low Level DNA Evidence
  • DNA Transfer Mechanisms
  • Forensic Investigation of Sexual Offences
  • Blood Pattern Analysis
  • Fabric Damage
  • Bayesian Interpretation of Forensic Science Evidence
  • The Presentation of Expert Evidence
  • Quality Standards in Forensic Science
  • Quality Management Systems
  • Cognitive Bias in Forensic Science
  • Member (Chartered Status) of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
  • Chair of the CSoFS Small Business Division