Publication Year


Firearms and Ballistics

From: Lawyer's Guide to the Forensic Sciences


Discusses firearms and ballistic identification, beginning with an overview of the science behind this identification process, which includes basic principles of different types of guns and ammunition. The role of the firearm expert in criminal cases is also explained.



Liam Hendrikse

Liam Hendrikse, BSc (Hons), MSc (ForSci), was born in Nassau, Bahamas, and raised in the Toronto area. He graduated from McMaster University in 1995, with an honours bachelor of science degree in chemistry. In 1998, he graduated from King’s College at the University of London, with a master of science degree in forensic science. He was a British Home Office forensic scientist from 1998 until 2006, where he specialized in the examination of firearms, ammunition and related items, and crime scene and post-mortem analyses. During that time, he was a lead reporting officer for Armed Criminality, a lecturer at King’s College in forensic science, a representative at the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes and Working Groups, a registered member of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, a member of the Forensic Science Society, and a recipient of the first Cambridgeshire High Sheriff’s Award for Excellence in Forensic Science. He now resides in Hamilton, acting as a consultant to criminal lawyers on matters relating to firearms and ballistics, in addition to working with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on expanding, developing, and delivering their forensic science programs and courses. He is also a registered expert in firearms and ballistics both with the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the County of Los Angeles Superior Court in California.

Catilin Pakosh

Caitlin M. Pakosh, HBSc, JD, has been working as case management counsel of Innocence Canada (formerly known as AIDWYC) since 2012 and is responsible for managing the Association’s cases across Canada. She obtained her honours bachelor of science degree, specializing in forensic anthropology and earning a minor in biology, from the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2008. Her undergraduate thesis, which examined the decomposition of dismembered pig limbs enclosed in plastic bags and submerged in Lake Ontario, was conducted during her internship with the Toronto Police Service Marine Unit and published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2009. Ms. Pakosh obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Calgary in 2011. She has appeared in the Court of Appeal for Ontario and has worked on intervener and appellate cases that have appeared at a variety of levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as ministerial review applications. Since 2013, Ms. Pakosh has cross-examined forensic science students in annual mock trials at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where students practise being expert witnesses. She is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is also an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Canadian Society of Forensic Science.