Iain Peck – Director
Iain graduated from university with a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences and a Masters degree in Forensic Science. He joined the Forensic Science Service in 1998 working in the DNA Unit and transferring to the Fire Investigation Unit in 2000 becoming a Senior Reporting Officer specialising in fire investigation and related examinations.
He has examined a wide range of fire and explosion scenes and been the lead forensic investigator in many high profile complex cases such as the Cutty Sark fire and the Tottenham Riots. He has been involved in many laboratory based examinations including flammable liquid analysis, heat damage assessment and interpretation, appliance testing and temperature monitoring. He has experience in dealing with international Police forces including casework, training and presenting evidence at court.
Iain has extensive knowledge and experience of the legal process and has given evidence as an expert witness in Crown Court and Coroners Court on many occasions. He has designed, presented and coordinated specialised fire investigation training courses to a number of Police forces since 2003 and continues to do so. He also trained and mentored new fire investigators in the Forensic Science Service. Iain was an Assessor for the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners until its demise in 2009.
Iain has carried out a number of fire investigation case reviews for various police services including R vs Philpott, Philpott and Mosley where 6 children died as the result of a house fire in Derbyshire and Op Shakespeare concerning the fatality of 5 children and their mother for Essex and Kent Police Serious Crime Directorate.
Iain has also been instructed by a number of defending solicitors and for civil cases including the fire at Dhaka Tobacco Industries, Bangladesh with a reported loss of $46 million.
Ignitable liquids best practise: packaging for analysis an article written by Iain was published in CSEye – Technical Notes in April 2014. In December 2014 Iain became an honorary lecturer at the University of Kent.
Emma Wilson – Director
After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Medical Biochemistry and a Masters degree in Biomolecular Archaeology, Emma spent almost 9 years with the Forensic Science Service (FSS), carrying out work for the police services of England and Wales. She began her career working in the laboratory in the DNA unit and later worked as an analyst in the toxicology department. In 2005 she joined the Fire Investigation Unit. She progressed to Forensic Specialist with expertise in fire investigation and associated examinations and took responsibility for all types of cases in the unit including several which were high profile and complex. As a founding Director of Prometheus Forensic Services Ltd Emma continues to work on all types of fire investigation cases. Emma was the lead forensic fire investigator in the Lakanal House fire (2009) in which 6 people died and R v Mills in which 3 generations of the same family died. She has also provided expert evidence when instructed by defence and has examined many electrical appliances to determine potential causes of fire as requested by insurers and owners.
She has experience in dealing with international police services including casework and presenting evidence at court. Emma is experienced in the UKCJS legal process and has given evidence as an expert witness in Crown court, Coroner court and Magistrates court on many occasions.
Emma regularly attends forensic science and fire investigation conferences and maintains and reviews a library of current literature on the subject of fire investigation. In December 2014 Emma became an honorary lecturer at the University of Kent.
Emma has appeared on BBC television in several historical documentaries, namely the Hidden Killers series on BBC4, to comment on different potential causes of fire.
Paola Ponticelli – Forensic Fire Investigator
Paola did her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain, where she graduated in 2017. After, she did her Masters Degree in Forensic Science at Northumbria University from where she graduated in 2019. During her masters she came to Prometheus as an intern to do her research dissertation (in Flashburning on garments), and after that, in October 2019 she officially started working at Prometheus. From there on she started her fire investigator training in-house. She has also been delivering lessons and fire demos for university students and for Crime Scene Investigators on the different courses Prometheus delivers. Paola’s mother tongue is Catalan, has Spanish as her second language, and she is fluent in English and Italian.
Simon Smith – Training Coordinator
Simon was a local authority fire investigator and manager within Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), with a highly successful record in emergency response and the identification of the origin and cause of fires.
Simon has delivered fire investigation training to a wide range of individuals including fire investigators from various fire and rescue services, the Royal Air Force and students including undergraduates on various degree courses, further education colleges, 6th form pupils and members of the Royal Society for Chemistry. He has presented on Fire Investigation at several inter-agency seminars at the Fire Service College.
Simon has given evidence in fire investigation in court including Coroners, Magistrates and Crown courts.
Simon has carried out research into specific areas of fire development some of which has been the catalyst for change within the fire service. Has has written articles related to Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), Fire Investigation and Research Team (FIRT), research which have been published in professional journals.
Simon joined Prometheus Forensic Services in October 2014. He has an M.Sc in Chemistry and carried out research into fires involving photovoltaic panels with the University of Kent.