Dr Tim Grant from Aston's Centre for Forensic Linguistics appeared on the BBC’s Crimewatch UK programme on 29 September to assist on a featured case involving racially abusive letters.
The case focuses on locating a letter writer who has sent around 60 racially abusive letters to different locations across the UK. All letters have been sent from the Southampton and Portsmouth area and police believe they have been written by the same person. Dr Tim Grant was interviewed on the show to provide a profile and description of the letter writer using his expertise.
Dr Grant specialises in forensic authorship analysis. His consultancy has largely involved the analysis of abusive and threatening communications including investigations into sexual assault, murder and terrorism.
His most high profile case to date focused on Dhiren Barot in 2006. He worked with the UK Counter Terrorism Command to provide evidence on an international investigation providing evidence that Barot had written documents planning terrorist attacks on a variety of U.K and U.S targets.
The Centre for Forensic Linguistics frequently work with the police to assist on relevant cases. As well as case work, the Centre is acknowledged to be a world leader for research and teaching in forensic linguistics. It offers programmes for undergraduates and postgraduates and supervision of PhD research in the field.
Words by Munira Jasat