Louise Blackwell QC and Gwen Henshaw conduct Training Day with Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre





On Thursday 15th of October, Louise Blackwell QC and Gwen Henshaw led a training day in conjunction with Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre as part of their Forensic Medical Examination in Rape and Sexual Assault (FMERSA) Course.

The course was attended by medical professionals looking to specialise in the examination and treatment of survivors of rape and sexual assault. The course is facilitated by Saint Mary’s SARC and invites experts from various fields to lend their expertise. In attendance were doctors, nurses and physician’s associates from around the world, with some attendees even joining remotely from the Cayman Islands.

The training, led by Miss Blackwell QC and Miss Henshaw, focused on courtroom skills, criminal procedure, and expert witness testimony. Miss Blackwell QC took the participants through the framework of the Criminal Procedure Rules and what is and isn’t expected from an expert witness in a criminal case. Miss Henshaw led a session that dissected expert witness reports - prepared by the participants in advance – and ran through the likely questions, tactics and sticking points that can occur during cross examination. The day rounded up with a lively question and answer session with positive feedback from participants.

The session was streamed live on Microsoft Teams, with international attendees able to respond and interact in real time. Facilitated by Dr Catherine White, Dr Helena Thornton and Dr Farah Yusuf and kindly hosted by the University of Manchester. The day was a hugely successful collaboration between Cobden House and Saint Mary’s SARC.

For more information on training and seminars please contact Saint Mary’s Training and Development Officer, Josh Edgar (josh.edgar@mft.nhs.uk).