Wetherby scientist in Queen’s New Year’s Honours award list

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A dedicated Wetherby forensic scientist was among those who have been honoured in the 2013 New Years Honours List.

Wetherby resident Catherine Turner was awarded the OBE for her services to the Criminal Justice System and the Victims of Crime.

Mrs Turner, who lives in Wetherby with her husband Graham and two daughters Isobel and Laura, said she was honoured and surprised by the accolade.

She told the News: “When I got the letter I didn’t think it was real and had to read it several times.

“I thought somebody was playing a joke on me.

“It has all been a massive surprise.

“I was jumping up and down with excitement, it is a massive honour.”

Mrs Turner, who is aged in her 40s, worked at the Forensic Science Service in Wetherby as a National Lead Consultant in a number of Cold Case reviews before it was controversially shut down in March by the Government who said the service was not making enough money.

Many of the workers who were employed at the FSS laboratory were made redundant in the move.

The mum-of-two now works as a lead Scientific Advisor at private firm LGC Logistics and has been a scientist for more than 24 years.

Mrs Turner was among a team of lead forensic scientists in a new DNA profiling technique which led to the conviction of murderer Ronald Castree in 2007.

Castree was jailed for the sexual assault and murder of 11-year-old Rochdale schoolgirl Lesley Molseed 32 years earlier in 1975.

Speaking about her work, Mrs Turner said: “I love my job, it is a real team effort.

“With up-to-date technologies we can open up investigations which may have been closed.

“Especially in cases where sexual offences have laid dormant for 20 years or more.”