QDE#1 Who are We?
Elisabeth Briggs - Forensic Document Examiner and Handwriting Expert
It always helps to know a little about the people 'behind' the name.... so here are a few facts about Lis!
Scotland is a beautiful country (yes, even in the rain!) and I would highly recommend everyone visit it at least once - you really don't need to travel abroad to see amazing mountains, forest and coast.
Before starting my career as a handwriting expert, I worked at what was once called the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory, where I learnt all about gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) by testing horse urine for drugs.
In 2005 I moved back to Birmingham, the city where I had studied Chemistry (and Japanese!) for my undergraduate degree. There I worked at Document Evidence Ltd honing my skills alongside many of the most-experienced forensic document examiners in the UK whose case history included the Birmingham Six (using ESDA to detect indented impressions of writing on witness statements) and Harold Shipman (involving a forged signature on a Will).
I have given evidence as a handwriting expert at Courts all over the country - from Cannock to London to the Isle of Wight (to where I travelled from the Midlands and back by public transport in one day).
The best, and furthest, destination has to be the beautiful city of Valletta in Malta where I was involved in the Egrant case with its links to the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
During my time at Key Forensic Services I appeared on the BBC programme Fake Britain and shared my findings in a case involving a forged Will.
In 2022 I also contributed to episode 7 of the BBC Radio 4 Podcast 'Fairy Meadow', a fascinating investigation into the disappearance of three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer in Australia in 1970. The whole podcast series is both engrossing and emotional - I highly recommend listening.
I am lucky enough to have the company of this retired racer whilst I work.... although at 9 years old, he is usually asleep!