Forensic Science Minitrial
News - date posted 21/05/10
Pupils at St Margaret's School in Edinburgh have pioneered a new forensic science version of the
Nichola Mortimer, a biology teacher at the school, enlisted the help of various lawyers as well
a forensic scientists from SPSA Forensic Services and from Edinburgh University.
The 4th years pupils investigated an assault to severe injury mock crime scene which Nicola had
prepared as part of the school's contribution to National Science and Engineering Week.
They took the items recovered to the laboratory and, under the guidance of their teacher and the
forensic scientists prepared a forensic science report which detailed findings and conclusions on
fingerprints, blood and DNA.
The pupils then gave evidence as "expert witnesses" with other pupils playing the roles of
prosecution and defence lawyers, the accused, alleged victim, witnesses, jurors and the media.
Sarah Wolffe QC acted as the presiding Sheriff with advocate Isabella Ennis assisting the
prosecution and Kim Schofield helping the defence.
After careful consideration of all the evidence the jury returned a majority verdict of not proven.
MiniTrials are designed to provide a practical insight into how the Scottish legal system works
and since they began in 2002 more than 1,000 pupils across Scotland have taken part.
Nichola Mortimer described the MiniTrial as "brilliant" and added: "The girls really enjoyed it
and I feel it has given rise to a few budding lawyers and forensic scientists... so mission accomplished."
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