Handbook of firearms and ballistics: examining and interpreting forensic evidence

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John Wiley, 1997 - Law - 260 pages
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Does the gunshot residue reveal how far from the target a weapon was fired? Is there any trace evidence to prove the accused handled a specific firearm? What is the likely behaviour of a ricocheting bullet? Do the marks on a bullet prove categorically that it was fired from a particular weapon? Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics tackles these and many more issues in a clear and accessible manner and is essential reading for all defence and prosecution practitioners, the judiciary, forensic experts, police forces and all those involved in this fascinating area. The judges’ view: "For those judges who have to try crimes involving firearms it will be of great assistance to have available in one volume such a comprehensive review of the subject …" His Honour Judge Neil Denison QC, Common Serjeant of London, UK "In a world where real expertise becomes increasingly significant it is important to have a standard against which to judge that expertise. The book, I believe, will help mark such a standard." His Honour Judge Duncan S. Kilgour, District Court, Hong Kong "I am very impressed. For many years I have wanted — and needed — a book such as this. … if one reads, marks and inwardly digests the whole, there will not be much, if anything, about firearms which one does not know." Judge Henry Pownoll QC, Central Criminal Court, London, UK The practitioners’ view: "…for the first time it becomes possible to understand the bases upon which the connections between firearms and ammunition and between each/either of them and a wound or damage may be established. Counsel and solicitors practising in our criminal courts will find that this book is an essential read." Michael Hill QC, Barrister, London, UK "In the forensic context I have encountered many of the problems examined in detail in this useful handbook … and in my view no practitioner in this field should be without it." Ronald Thwaites QC, Barrister, London, UK The forensic scientist’s view: "… the text should be readily comprehensible to lawyers, laymen and scientists alike. This book should be compulsory reading for all lawyers dealing with cases involving firearms. It will also appeal generally to anyone with an interest in forensic science and specifically to those with an interest in firearms." Dr David Clarke, Chief Chemist, Forensic Science Division, Hong Kong Government Laboratory The firearms experts’ view: "It is quite obvious that Mr Heard is a very experienced firearms examiner … His ability to explain and simplify difficult reference material will be of great value within the scientific and legal communities. I would strongly recommend that this book be available to every practising firearms examiner as well as laboratory directors and others interested in this field of science." James E. Hamby, Laboratory Director, Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, USA "Brian Heard’s clear writing disperses the mystery that has traditionally surrounded forensic ballistics …" Bill Harriman, Head of Firearms, British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

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About the author (1997)

Brian Heard began his career as an examiner in firearms and ballistics with the Metropolitan Police Forensics Firearms Laboratory at New Scotland Yard, London, UK. He rose to the level of Deputy Head of the Laboratory before joining the Royal Hong Kong Police as a ballistics officer. He is currently the officer in charge of the Ballistics and Firearms Identification Bureau for the Royal Hong Kong Police. He appears regularly in court as an expert witness in cases involving firearms, ammunition, tools and toolmarks, and has undertaken the research, development and implementation of improved techniques for the collection, examination and interpretation of gunshot residue particles via a scanning electron microscope. He also lectures to police training establishments and related organisations on all aspects of forensic ballistics, forensic firearms and toolmark examinations, gunshot residue analysis and the use of these techniques in criminal investigations. His personal interests include rock climbing and he has previously published a book on rock climbing in Hong Kong.

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