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Philip Gilhooley. MCSFS


Areas of expertise


Fingerprints >


Fingerprint analysis


Fingerprint evidence


Fingerprint identification



Crime Scene Investigation

Philip Gilhooley. MCSFS - Fingerprint Expert


With over 40 years’ experience in the field of fingerprint identification Philip Gilhooley is an internationally recognised fingerprint expert.  Philip started his career with the Merseyside Police in 1964, qualifying as a nationally registered fingerprint expert in 1970. He progressed through promotion to the post of Principal Fingerprint Officer, and Deputy Head of Bureau, in 1992.


In April 2004, Phillip was promoted to Chief Fingerprint Officer, Head of the Merseyside Police Fingerprint Bureau.


From 2007 until 2011 he held the position of Senior Lecturer, Forensic Science, Liverpool John Moores University, and brought over forty years practical forensic experience to Academia.


  • Leading fingerprint expert with over 40 years’ experience in the field of identification of persons by their ridge detail.

  • Internationally recognised and respected expert in all aspects of fingerprints, fingerprint analysis and related evidence.

  • Highly skilled and qualified in the use of fingerprint development techniques.

  • Trained and qualified to National advanced standards, his status as a Fingerprint Expert has been accepted by Courts both in the United Kingdom and abroad for over forty years.

  • His employment which included the position of Chief Fingerprint Officer, Merseyside Police,  one of the largest provisional fingerprint Bureaux in the Country, which included the Management of the Forensic Laboratory and Trace Evidence Recovery Facility, specialising in the recovery of trace evidence from exhibits in gun related crime.

  • Philip is also qualified in Training and Development with Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

  • He has been instructed in many high-profile criminal cases, both here and abroad, having reviewed and presented reports on complex fingerprint issues.

Committee Memberships

  • Fellow of the Fingerprint society. 

  • Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) –Lead Assessor and Member of the Sector Investigation Panel.

  • Fingerprint Expert registered on the National register of Fingerprint Experts.

  • Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Notable Work

  • Philip received three separate Commendations from Merseyside Police. These were awarded for dedication and professional expertise during complex cases where forensic evidence played a crucial part in the prosecution of the offenders.

  • He was nominated by Senior Police Officers for ‘Merseyside Police Employee of the Year.’

Notable Cases

During his career with Merseyside Police, Philip was involved and gave evidence in numerous very high profile cases, including Terrorism, Murder and Drug related investigations.  Philip regularly gave evidence in relation to Crime Scene Investigation and expert evidence of fingerprint analysis.

  • Toronto High Court, Canada

Philip gave evidence in the High Court in Canada when the Judge, during a Voir Dire hearing, accepted his right to give expert fingerprint evidence in a Terrorist trial to extradite Suspects from Canada to the UK. Extradition was granted.

  • Liverpool Crown Court .1988 Regina v Ian Simms

This was the first case in Liverpool, when a person was convicted without the body of the deceased being found. Overwhelming forensic evidence was presented to the Jury including the use of DNA evidence for the first time. Philip proved a fingerprint, in blood from the deceased, found at the Public House managed by the accused, could only have been left by him, to the exclusion of all others. Simms was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment

  • Court of Magistrates, Valletta , Malta6.4.1    

Philip was selected from Independent Fingerprint Experts in UK to review Police fingerprint evidence in a case of Robbery on a security vehicle in Santa Venera Malta in 2000, the case only coming to trial in recent years. Philip completed a exhaustive review of all the evidence and presented his finding, on oath, to the Court of Magistrates in Valletta. Philip was complimented on his work by Magistrate Dr. A.M.Trigona.

  • Nottingham Crown Court. Regina  v Kieron Podd. Instructed by the defence

Kieron Podd was accused of the murder of Richard Jones, when the use of a knife was instrumental in his death. Evidence was adduced by the Police Crown Fingerprint Expert, who identified certain of the fingerprints of Kieron Podd and Richard Jones on certain positions of the knife. Philip, acting on instructions from Michael Turner QC, reviewed the Crown evidence in the case. He disagreed with the Crown Fingerprint Expert, stating that the position of the fingerprints attributed to Mr Podd indicated that they were more likely left when defending himself and gave evidence to that effect in the trial. This supported the evidence of the accused. Kieron Podd, who was facing life imprisonment, was acquitted by the Jury.

  • Regina v Mark Hannah. Phone Hacking trial at the Old Bailey. May 2014

Acting on instructions, from the legal team representing Mr Hannah, Philip reviewed the fingerprint evidence, disclosed on black polythene bags, adduced by the Metropolitan Police and presented at his trial. After reviewing the position of the fingerprints on the bags a consensus of agreement was reached  on the evidence which supported Mr. Hannah’s explanation on how they had been handled. Mr Hannah was subsequently acquitted by the Jury.

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