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David Scaysbrook BSc, CBiol, MRSB, MCSFS

david scaysbrook

David Anthony Scaysbrook joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory (MPFSL) in August 1974 as a trainee biologist in the ‘pre-DNA’ blood grouping section.

Selected by the Metropolitan Police for a full time university sponsorship in 1977, he graduated from Salford University with an honours degree in applied biology in 1981. David soon became a biology division court going reporting officer and at about the same time also trained in hairs and textile fibres work.

In 1986 he applied to join the laboratory’s Fire Investigation Unit – and was the first biologist ever selected – where he stayed for a very happy 10 years. During that period he investigated numerous fatal, suspicious, accidental and deliberate fire scenes together with gas and vapour explosions. David also learned the skill of interpreting analytical results relating to flammable liquids.

He was an integral part of the Metropolitan Police - London Fire Brigade liaison forum, partly responsible for designing and introducing a new liaison form which proved so useful and became a model document for forces and brigades nationwide. He was also heavily involved in designing and delivering training in fire investigation techniques, particularly to crime scene investigators. In 1995 he became the first UK forensic scientist to attend the Advanced Cause & Origin Course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre in the USA, as a guest observer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Following the merger of the MPFSL with the Home Office Forensic Science Service in 1996 David became a Serious Crime Specialist Advisor. In 1997 he returned to the biology division, took up a role as team leader and re-familiarised in DNA profiling and blood pattern distribution techniques.

In 2001 he transferred to the FSS Chepstow laboratory. There he continued as a body fluids/fibres reporting officer and team leader but also became the local lead scientist on fire investigation issues. During that period he also undertook forensic science laboratory technical reviews in Canada and the USA. David was registered with the UK Council for Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) when that organisation was in existence. On the closure of the Chepstow laboratory in 2010 David became a consultant and co-director of ‘S&T Forensics’.

Over the years he has supported numerous high profile police investigations including murders, robberies, CT and series rapes, receiving several commendations. David has given expert evidence on numerous occasions at Magistrate’s, Crown, Appeal & Coroner’s courts and at Courts Martial – in the UK and overseas. He has also delivered talks at learned gatherings including Forensic Science Society conferences and has lectured in forensic science at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning.

David has long taken a keen interest in training, mentoring and coaching new recruits, including expert witness courses for all grades - “experience is an incredibly important factor in forensic science but a newer younger mind often has a fresh look and produces some interesting views – the combination can be extremely constructive”.

Since leaving public service in 2010 Dave has worked for many of the major Forensic Science Suppliers as a freelance consultant and sub contactor, delivered training in the UK & overseas and undertaken defence work for many recognised independent companies and for private clients.

In addition he is Managing Director of Gardiner Fire Investigation and Diploma Manager for the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences’ coveted Diploma in Fire Investigation.

David Scaysbrook

Yvonne Turner