Sugden announces new State Pathologist

Date published: 25 January 2017

Claire Sugden has announced that Dr James Lyness will take on the role of State Pathologist for Northern Ireland on 1 April.

Dr Lyness was appointed on a designate basis last year and formally takes up post from Acting State Pathologist Professor Jack Crane.

Minister Claire Sugden said: “I congratulate Dr Lyness on his appointment into the important role of State Pathologist for Northern Ireland. The post represents a vital element within our justice system and delivers essential safeguards and protection for the public."

Recognising the work of former State Pathologist Professor Jack Crane who retired from the post in 2014 and later agreed to take up the role of Acting State Pathologist prior to the appointment of Dr Lyness, The Minister added: “I also extend my thanks to Professor Jack Crane for his valuable contribution while in the role. After decades of public service, he takes with him the best wishes and gratitude of everyone in the Department.”

Following a national recruitment competition, Dr Lyness was appointed on a designate basis on 4 April 2016.

Notes to editors: 

1. Dr Lyness joined the SPD in 2007 as a Specialist Registrar in Histopathology.  He successfully obtained a Certificate of Completion of Training in Histopathology (Forensic Pathology) in September 2010 and became a Consultant Forensic Pathologist in October 2010.

2. The SPD comprises the State Pathologist and three Forensic Pathologists.  At present there is an acting State Pathologist and three Forensic Pathologists.                                                         

3. A Forensic Pathologist post will become vacant when Dr Lyness takes up his position as State Pathologist and a process to fill this vacancy is ongoing.

4. The State Pathologist, Professor Jack Crane retired from the post in January 2014 but continued to support the Department through a locum arrangement pending the appointment of a new State Pathologist.

5. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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