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Falklands mission for forensic pathologist

Jet lag is a luxury that forensic pathologist Professor Guy Rutty could not indulge in during his recent trip to the Falkland Islands, for whom he is a principal provider of a post mortem service.

Professor Rutty, who is Head of the Division of Forensic Pathology, travelled to the Falklands with an embalmer from the funeral directors Adkinson, of Oadby, Leicestershire, to examine the body of  28-year-old Kirsty Brown, a marine biologist who died after being attacked by a leopard seal in the Antarctic in July.

Professor Rutty’s 18-hour journey took him overnight from RAF Brise Norton to Ascension Island and then on to the Falklands, where he spent 18 hours before making the return journey and launching straight into another case suspicious death case in Nottingham. 

[Photo: Falklands view]

Arriving just after a snow fall in winter with temperatures of minus one degrees centigrade, he had to attend a talk on land mine and anti personnel device recognition before clearing customs and embarking on an hour’s drive down a snow-covered gravel track to Stanley. Once at his destination, the examination took five hours in a mortuary without ventilators (for the embalming fumes) or radiators, followed by a debriefing session with the police, a meal and three hours sleep before the flight back to the UK.

“This is the third Falklands case I have dealt with this year,” Professor Rutty commented. “Leicester is the main forensic pathology unit serving that area, and of six recent cases four have been dealt with by us.”

Professor Guy Rutty has worked with twelve English police forces and has assisted the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crime investigations in Bosnia, and is currently working with the International Commission on Missing Persons in the Former Yugoslavia (ICMP).    

[Photo: Falklands landscape]

His knowledge and expertise are internationally recognised, his most recent lecture being in September, when he travelled to Ljubljana in Slovenia to talk on Sudden Cardiac Death to the European Congress of Pathology (ECP).

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Last updated: 16 October 2003 10:45
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