Simon Armson is currently a clinical psychotherapist, a Mental Health Act Commissioner and a Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. He chaired the Mental Health Act Commission for a period in 2008/09. From 1989 to 2004, he was Chief Executive of the Samaritans, having worked as a Samaritan volunteer for 31 years, and was instrumental in developing that organisation’s work in prisons. He has a particular interest in mental health and suicide prevention.
Deborah Coles is Co-director of INQUEST. She has experience of individual casework on deaths in custody across the criminal justice system with particular emphasis on the interests of bereaved families. She has a long-standing interest in cross-sector learning. Deborah undertakes policy, research and campaigning work on the strategic issues raised by contentious deaths, their investigation, the treatment of bereaved people and state accountability.
Dr Peter Dean
Peter Dean is an experienced coroner in Suffolk and Essex and a Forensic Medical Examiner with MPS, with a background in general practice. He has knowledge and experience of deaths in police and prison custody and has provided advice, guidance and training to police custody staff for some years.
Professor Philip Leach
Philip Leach is a Professor of Human Rights at London Metropolitan University and a former Legal Director of Liberty having originally trained as a solicitor. He has undertaken training in human rights for prosecutors, police and judges and been involved in casework with prisoners both in the UK and abroad.
Professor Richard Shepherd
Richard Shepherd is Consultant Forensic Pathologist at St George’s Hospital London and the Royal Liverpool Hospital. He is a registered Home Office Forensic Pathologist and a leading forensic pathologist in the field of deaths during restraint, with experience of deaths in all forms of custody, including natural, suicidal and homicidal causes. He is also a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel.
Professor Stephen Shute
Stephen Shute is Head of the School of Law, Politics and Sociology at the University of Sussex. He is a leading academic in the field of criminal law and criminal justice, in particular on prison issues but also undertaking recent research into ethnic minorities in the criminal courts. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board on Joint Inspection in the Criminal Justice System and the Management Board of the CPS Inspectorate.