cache/resized/fd8dd5d218dbbcf6230698f35dd6c097.jpg
Abbie experienced a difficult childhood and a strained relationship with her family growing up. This meant that from a young age, she had to become independent in the family home and take herself to and from school. At the age of 11, the family moved to a new area, which had serious crime and ...
cache/resized/6fea0211aac6e5fe0634a0c8f470ae34.jpg
Harry, of Wallsend, was just eight when, in 2015, he lost his uncle and godfather David, 36, to sudden cardiac death. Tragically a year later his dad Steve died just three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. Devastated by his family losses Harry decided to bring something positive out of ...
cache/resized/097b0d858ce8432f4aa0ec75fc852e91.jpg
Growing up in Chitagong, now in Bangladesh, then part of Pakistan, Ram Prasad Sengupta could hardly have imagined his life today as a world-renowned neurosurgeon, honoured by royalty for his incredible work. Professor Sengupta, 79, known to friends in Newcastle as Robin, was born into extreme ...
cache/resized/4babc52fe8e1a603f4d0198774b34e18.jpg
Devoted and defiant mum Lynn Lucas has raised more than £2 million for cancer research since the tragically early death of her son Chris aged 18 in 2000. Lynn’s son Chris died of a rare form of cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancer that resembles muscle tissue, leading to his dedicated mum ...
cache/resized/351f3b2ce7f0cc41ba4f41c7a6d59f2c.jpg
HenPower was set up by the charity Equal Arts in 2011 with the aim of using hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing. Equal Arts’ director, Douglas Hunter, tells us how the project began. “We had been working in a care home when a resident with ...
cache/resized/57ea1fe33253ee8a450dbbec1e600af6.jpg
Off-duty highways officer Peter Senior was having a coffee at a roadside coffee shop while Adam Tomlinson was driving home from work, when a motorcycle collided with a car on the A167 near Spennymoor, County Durham. The 52-year-old rider was thrown into the air and the female motorist was left ...
cache/resized/d8287f5ee38333d1c2ed242b6ea9094d.jpg
Born with half a heart and undergoing a record-breaking operation minutes after birth, Chanel Murrish is certainly a miracle; defying the odds and the predictions of doctors who feared she was unlikely to survive. But it’s her incredible mother, Fay Murrish who we are proud to honour with our ...
cache/resized/d47d0ff6204bd56203e14c37be94494d.jpg
Ultramarathon runner Dennis Potton got more than he bargained in the middle of a 60-mile endurance race when he stopped for a drink and heard a child screaming for help. Dennis was taking part in the Hardmoors 60, a 60-mile run along the North Yorkshire coast when he heard children crying for ...
cache/resized/a4f23b76b976d4840c03874622dd1a60.jpg
At 94, most people have given up working long ago - but not Harry Mercer! Harry, from North Shields, has been volunteering for over 70 years and says he’ll never stop working for others. For Harry, it all began in 1947, when his brother-in-law asked him to help raise funds to build a ...
cache/resized/3d1fb6090e544ec43bc8a7bdd24dbdc4.jpg
Mark Taylor is an inspirational teacher who has refused to let advanced Motor Neurone Disease (MND) prevent him from changing children’s lives. Mark has been living with a diagnosis of the devastating illness, which has eventually left him unable to walk, eat or even talk unaided, since 2010. A ...
cache/resized/93f61a5bd335115d75b92176b3d1bede.jpg
Last September PC Paul Canvin was on annual leave when an armed gang burst in and attempted to rob the newsagents that he was shopping in. Dressed in jeans and flip flops, PC Canvin sprung into action to help. The two masked men were armed with a 3ft metal bar and threatened staff whilst making ...
cache/resized/0bce779e6e651e80f42ee05e0b730f79.jpg
Eleven year old Katie Mitchelson was playing at the park with her friends when a dog suddenly started biting children at random all around her. Whilst some children might have panicked Katie remained calm and knew that she had to help. The first victim was seven year old Clara Villalard who was ...
cache/resized/56718086951cc57f9626e0e74121f727.jpg
Young Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma on the 7th of January 2013 at the age of just two. Given a 50-50 chance of survival, hospital staff nicknamed him “Resus Brad” after the many times they had to call the resuscitation trolley to his room to ...

Professor Lorna Dawson

“Soil sleuth” has pioneered forensic techniques that have helped solve more than 100 crimes, and put some of the UK’s most notorious killers behind bars

While studying in Edinburgh, Lorna Dawson was gripped by a crime that happened on her own doorstep.

On a Saturday night in October 1977, she was asleep in her university halls of residence when 17-year-olds Helen Scott and Christine Eadie were murdered after a night out at the city’s World’s End pub.

The killer was not found, but Lorna never forgot the case, and nearly 40 years later, after becoming one of the country’s leading forensic scientists, she uncovered the vital evidence that finally nailed the killer.

Lorna says: “The World’s End case made me feel vulnerable because the perpetrator was never found. I was a student back then and I had just got off the farm in the countryside, where there was very little crime. I would often go to the area where the World’s End pub was with my friends. None of the girls at the university would walk back alone after the murders.”

After gaining a geography degree from Edinburgh University, Lorna completed a PHD in soil science and began working in forensics, helping to pioneer soil investigation techniques that allowed for a sample as small as grain of rice to be analysed.

The Aberdeen mum-of-three now runs one of the only laboratories in the world dedicated to forensic geology, The James Hutton Institute.

The “soil sleuth” and her team have helped put some of the UK’s most evil killers behind bars by unearthing vital hidden clues to convict the guilty. Lorna’s expertise in soil forensics has seen her collaborate with the National Crime Agency, regularly presenting evidence in courts from the UK to Australia.

She says: “One of the things that drives me on is the desire to discover answers and hopefully get some closure for families who’ve been affected by serious crime. Life's so precious, and if it's taken away for whatever reason, particularly if it's taken away by someone else's actions, then I think we should stop at nothing to try and find justice, to find that person who's done that.”

Lorna’s story came full circle when she was asked to re-analyse samples from the World’s End case.

She discovered tiny soil particles on one of the victim’s feet which helped convict killer Angus Sinclair, who had initially been acquitted of the murders in 2007.

Thanks to Lorna’s dedication and expertise, Sinclair was convicted and jailed for life with a minimum of 37 years in 2014.

Lorna, 59, has vowed to keep pushing new forensic techniques over the next decade and beyond.

She says: “We can now work on a tiny amount of soil that might be found underneath your fingernail. But there is always further we can go. I want to train up young people to be the next generation of forensic scientists. It is important to leave a legacy.”

Lorna is a world leader in her field, and the connection with the World’s End murders is compelling. But it is her steadfast commitment to seeking justice for victims that is truly outstanding.Pride of Britain judges

About us

The Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards in partnership with TSB celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

Read more...

 

Contact Us

Pride of Britain
One Canada Square
London
E14 5AP 

Ruth Kosla
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Follow us @PrideOfBritain

Like us on Facebook