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Speaker biographies

Steve Barron

Superintendant Steve Barron works for Northumbria Police, covering the Newcastle and Gateshead area. His role calls for maintaining an overview of area command performance and direction of travel and areas of risk.

Noel Bartolo

Noel joined an International Bank in Malta in 1995 and worked through the management ladder within the Internet Banking Team. After a number of years supporting project development on the Corporate and Personal Internet Banking platforms, Noel sought to further his career in Global Service Centre Management. He was appointed as the Head of Banking Operations; Cards & Wealth during 2011 and soon after took over the Management of the Probate, Trust and Custody Services sections. Apart from the in-country operation, Noel had management oversight of Global Service Centres in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Sri Lanka. In October 2014, Noel sought to further his career in the Commercial Banking sector and was asked to lead and embed the implementation of the AML & Sanctions policy. In October 2015, Noel joined the Bank’s Financial Crime Compliance team. He is presently the Head of the Anti-Money Laundering investigations team in Malta and Deputises for the MLRO in relation to policy and procedure guidance.

Sue Black

Professor Dame Sue Black is one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists, Director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, and of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee. Her forensic expertise has been crucial to many high-profile criminal cases, and in 1999 she headed the British forensic team’s exhumation of mass graves in Kosovo. Sue Black has often appeared in the media, including BBC Two’s History Cold Case, and the documentary After the Wave: Ten years since the Boxing Day Tsunami. She has also been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to forensic anthropology.

Isobel Dixon

Isobel was born and educated in South Africa, and in Edinburgh where she completed Master’s degrees in English Literature and Applied Linguistics.  She has translated novels from the Afrikaans and her debut poetry collection Weather Eye (Carapace, 2001) won the Sanlam and the Olive Schreiner Prizes in South Africa. Her latest collection, Bearings is published by Modjaji in South Africa and Nine Arches in the UK (April 2016) and Mariscat published a pamphlet The Leonids (August 2016).
Isobel Dixon is Head of Books and a Director of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, where she represents writers from around the world, among them Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers and international prize-winners. She is also a Trustee of Poetry London magazine and Vice President of the Association of Authors’ Agents, where one of her key portfolios is diversity and inclusivity in publishing.

Michelle Carlin

Michelle Carlin studied at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on the BSc (Hons) Colour Chemistry degree. After some time spent in a contract research organisation in Edinburgh, Michelle went onto continue her education with an MSc in Forensic Science at Strathclyde University. A research project was carried out in the toxicology department of the Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale (IRCGN) in Paris, using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS). After this, Michelle became the manager of a workplace drug-testing laboratory in the North East of England before taking up a teaching position as Lecturer in Forensic Science at Teesside University where she spent 3 years.
In 2009, Michelle joined Northumbria University as Lecturer in Forensic Chemistry where she carries out research in analytical toxicology and the role of toxicology in death investigation.

Peter Francis

Since joining Northumbria University in January 1994, Professor Francis has shaped the development of the University’s criminology curriculum and provision. His published research has focussed on victims and victimisation, criminological research methods, and crime and social divisions.
Professor Francis is currently co-writing and editing a book on Victims, Crime and Society for Sage Publications, and co-writing and editing a volume on Invisible Crime, Social Harm and Global Justice for Palgrave Macmillan. He is also writing a textbook on Contemporary Criminological Theory for Sage Publications.

HH Judge Gittins

Judge Gittins was called to the bar in 1990. He was then appointed as Recorder in 2008. In 2015, he was announced as Circuit Judge in appointed to the North East area in Newcastle Courts.

Michael Green

Michael was born and raised in Natal, South Africa. He lectured in Johannesburg before being appointed to the Department of English at the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal). He joined Northumbria University with the aim of returning to researching, teaching, and writing. In February 2009, he was inducted into the Society of the Fellows of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in recognition of distinguished academic achievements.
Michael is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College and a project evaluator and individual ratings referee for the South African National Research Foundation. He has been instrumental in winning funding bids to support Northumbria’s engagement with the creative industries. This includes a partnership with the regional writing agency, New Writing North, which helps support the Northern Writers Awards and various literary events in the North East.

Tracey Iceton

Tracey Iceton is an author and freelance creative writing tutor from Teesside. She won the 2013 HISSAC short story prize for ‘Butterfly Wings’, was runner up in the 2013 and 2014 Cinnamon Press short story competitions with ‘Slag’ and ‘As the world (re)turns’ which appear in the anthologies Journey Planner and Patria. She also won the 2011 Writers Block NE Home Tomorrow Short Story Competition and has been shortlisted for the 2012 Bristol Short Story Competition with ‘Apple Shot’ and the 2015 Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition for ‘Ask Not’. Parts one and two of her Celtic Colours Trilogy, Green Dawn at St Enda’s and Herself Alone in Orange Rain, were released in 2016 and 2017 with part three, White Leaves of Peace, due for publication at Easter 2019 and a fourth novel, Rock God Complex: The Mickey Hunter Story, set to appear in 2020. Her short stories have appeared in; Prole, Litro, Neon, Tears in the Fence, The Momaya Annual Review, The Yellow Room and Writer’s Muse. Her PhD research, entitled Troubles Women, was a practice-led project exploring the portrayal of female paramilitary protagonists in Troubles fiction.

Adam Jackson

Adam is an Associate Professor of Law and is currently Programme Leader of the M Law Exempting degree. Since 2010, he has also been Deputy Director of the Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies. Adam has published widely in the field of criminal justice with a particular focus on: criminal law reform, expert evidence in criminal proceedings, “criminal Justice information” (including criminal records and forensic bio-information) and international criminal justice co-operation. He is currently involved in a NordForsk/ESRC funded research project: Police Detectives on the TOR-network: A Study on Tensions Between Privacy and Crime Fighting. Adam has also been Case Note Editor of the Journal of Criminal Law (SAGE Publishing) since 2012.

David Mark

David spent more than fifteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post – walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels.
His writing is heavily influenced by the court cases he covered: the defeatist and jaded police officers; the competent and incompetent investigators; the inertia of the justice system and the sheer raw grief of those touched by savagery and tragedy.
He has written six novels in the McAvoy series: Dark WinterOriginal SkinSorrow BoundTaking PityDead Pretty and Cruel Mercy, as well as two McAvoy novellas, A Bad Death and Fire of Lies, which are available as ebooks. His first historical thriller, The Zealot’s Bones, is out now.
Dark Winter was selected for the Harrogate New Blood panel (where he was Reader in Residence) and was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller. Dead Pretty was longlisted for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger in 2016.
David’s Radio 4 drama, A Marriage of Inconvenience, aired last year.

Denise Mina

After a peripatetic childhood in Glasgow, Paris, London, Invergordon, Bergen and Perth, Denise Mina left school early. Working in a number of dead-end jobs, all of them badly, before studying at night school to get into Glasgow University Law School.
Denise went on to study for a PhD at Strathclyde, misusing her student grant to write her first novel. This was Garnethill, published in 1998, which won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel. She has now published 12 novels and also writes short stories, plays and graphic novels. In 2014 she was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame.

Christopher Mitford

Chris was called to the bar in 2001 and practised in chambers in Newcastle principally in the areas of criminal law and mental health law. He taught at Northumbria University between 2012 and 2015. He then spent two years working for an international bank in Malta as an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Manager where his role involved AML education and AML investigations. During that time Chris also performed the role of Deputy Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and/or had Designate MLRO status. Chris returned to the University in November 2017. He is the MLRO of the Student Law Office, a functioning law firm based at the University, and is also a door tenant at Trinity Chambers.

Anna Richardson

Anne is now one of the most senior and experienced members of the criminal team within chambers. She has been a Grade 4 prosecutor and a member of RASSO panel for many years and practises exclusively in crime.
Anne has a wealth of experience dealing with sexual offences of all categories and has developed a particular expertise conducting cases of historic abuse allegations and those involving young and vulnerable defendants. She also deals with cases involving domestic violence and indecent images of all levels. Anne has prosecuted and defended in cases involving serious violence, including murder. She has also represented those accused of multi-handed drugs’ conspiracies.

Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe has an international reputation for his research and publications in the field of policing, paying particular attention to policing culture and reforms, race and racism and the policing of domestic violence. Other interests include on-line victimisation and offender desistance. He has published seven books on policing, crime, race and related issues and is the (co)author of 30 articles in scholarly journals. In recent years he has been a member of the Executive of the British Society of Criminology and Vice-President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology. From 2010-2012 he was an academic member of the Independent Police Commission chaired by Lord Stevens. Previously, he was director of the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University Wellington and senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Leicester.

Laura Seebohm

Laura is Operational Director at Changing Lives, leading Women’s Services, Criminal Justice, Health and Employment. She has over 20 years’ experience in the statutory and voluntary sectors; working as a Probation Officer before joining Changing Lives in 2006.
Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, her projects span the North and Midlands and include holistic women’s centres, domestic abuse, women in the criminal justice system, services for women and men with experience of sexual exploitation and sex work. Laura also has significant experience managing European funded contracts and Social Impact bonds.  She now provides women’s sector expertise for RR3, a voluntary sector advisory group to the Ministry of Justice.  Laura has been Visiting Fellow of University of East Anglia following research into sex work and sexual exploitation.

Kelly Sheridan

Dr Kelly Sheridan joined Northumbria University in 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science in the Department of Chemical and Forensic Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Science. Prior to joining the team Kelly spent seven years as a Senior Forensic Reporting Officer at LGC Forensics, one of the UK’s most prominent Forensic Science Providers. Kelly was formerly employed as a Senior Reporter in the Marks and Trace department, and a specialist advisor to the Cold Case team for cases involving the potential transfer of textile fibres. Kelly has dealt with a number of high profile cases of national concern – such as the murders of Joanna Yeates and Stephen Lawrence, cold cases, and cases for the Criminal Case Review Commission.

DCI Lisa Theaker

DCI Lisa Theaker is a senior investigating officer for Northumbria Police, specialising in homicide, kidnap and extortion.

Sue Turner

Sue Turner is a senior lecturer and solicitor (non-practising) at Northumbria University.  Sue’s specialism is in international finance and business law and she researches in the field of anti-money laundering.  As a practising solicitor, prior to joining Northumbria University, Sue worked in the banking and finance team of an international law firm, specialising in cross-border finance transactions.

Tony Williams

Tony was born and brought up in Derbyshire, and studied philosophy at Cambridge and creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University. He writes poetry and prose fiction. His first collection of poems, The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street (Salt, 2009), was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Portico Prize for Literature and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. The sonnet sequence All the Rooms of Uncle’s Head (Nine Arches Press, 2011) was the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Winter 2011. His flash fiction collection All the Bananas I’ve Never Eaten (Salt, 2012) won Best Short Story Collection in the 2013 Saboteur Awards. Tony’s latest novel, Nutcase, was published by Salt in 2017. He previously taught at Sheffield Hallam University, the Open University and the University of Salford among others, and worked as a freelance graphic designer for some years.

Natalie Wortley

Natalie Wortley was called to the Bar in 1999 and is a member of New Park Court Chambers in Newcastle. She practised in criminal law until 2010, prosecuting and defending a range of cases in the Crown Court. She continues to maintain strong links with the Bar, both in Newcastle and on Circuit. Natalie joined Northumbria Law School in 2005 and is now Principal Lecturer, teaching criminal law, evidence and advocacy. She is also a deputy director of the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies.

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