Working with Suspects

IfJ CPD Courses

Event details


12 Jul 2023




Zoom Online
United Kingdom

Booking info

Max participants: 20

Course facilitator(s): Laura Farrugia, Liz Prosser, Catherine O'Neill, Grev Wallington and Clifford Mickleburgh

Course facilitator(s) bio:

Dr Laura Farrugia

Dr Laura Farrugia is an Assistant Professor at Northumbria University and a Registered Intermediary. Her research focuses on vulnerability in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) with a strong emphasis on interviewing vulnerable victims, witnesses and suspects. She has published extensively in this area and her research drives her practice as a Registered Intermediary where she advises police officers and courts on the most appropriate manner to interview or cross-examine vulnerable victims and witnesses. She regularly delivers training to national and international bodies on how best to communicate effectively with vulnerable individuals. 

Liz Prosser

I am an experienced accredited Registered Intermediary and HMCTS appointed intermediary, having worked on various high profile cases with both defendants and witnesses at the Old Bailey. I have a background in speech and language therapy. Over the years, as an intermediary, I have considerable experience in working with vulnerable people - particularly adults with neurological conditions, dementia and learning disabilities, and children from the age of ten years upwards. 

Catherine O'Neill

Catherine O’Neill is a Registered Intermediary in the Justice System, a Speech and Language Therapist and an Arts Psychological Therapist. As a therapist she has worked with adults and children with Communication Needs and Mental Health issues, in a variety of settings including palliative care, acute mental health wards and day hospitals, schools and clinics. She has worked on hundreds of cases involving vulnerable witnesses and defendants, in the Criminal, Family and Tribunal courts. She is currently researching for a Phd on: The knowledge and experience of Trauma Informed Practice in the Justice System. She is currently Chair of IfJ and has a firm belief in equality of access to justice for all. Catherine currently runs trainings for the police on communication to Achieve Best Evidence and on Trauma Informed Practice.

Grev Wallington

Grev was appointed as the Effective Practice Manager of the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) in 2016. With 20 years of experience of leading appropriate adult schemes, he has personally acted as an AA in around 2,000 criminal- and terrorism-related cases. 

Prior to joining the staff of NAAN, Grev contributed nine years of voluntary work to NAAN as a trustee, including a period as the Chair. He is a Fellow of the RSA, and a qualified trainer and facilitator who has delivered AA training to hundreds of staff and volunteers across many organisations. 

Clifford Mickleburgh

I am an active 77-year-old, married to Mary with three sons and nine grandchildren. I was brought up in the hospitality business, spent eight years in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). I spent 30 years in the Fast Food business and then 20 years in Fire Safety. I ave always worked for myself. 

I have always been curious about the Criminal Justice System and what happened behind the walls and spent time on the Local Review Committee (LRC) at HMP Swaleside, has led onto joining the Board of Visitors (BoV) at HMP Swaleside for seven years. I then became interested in being an Appropriate Adult (AA) initially in 1985/6. Family life and business needs then took over. 

I returned to being an AA five years ago. Last year 2022, Barney (my dog), and I received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Chief Constable of Kent for my work as an AA in Custody. 

Course requirements: IfJ members

Who is this course for: Qualified intermediaries who want to learn how to work with suspects

This course provides an overview from multiple speakers of working with suspects as an intermediary and information on the Appropriate Adult role. 

Course Content

The day will have four main pesentations: 

  1. Laura Farrugia 'Enhancing Communication in Police Interviews with Vulnerable Adult Suspects' 09:30-10:30
    • The presentation will focus on psychological vulnerabilities that vulnerable adult suspects can frequently present with during a forensic interview and explore how communication can be enhanced with such a vulnerable group at this integral stage of the CJS. Laura will start by reviewing relevant background literature concerning existing best practice interviewing methods and questioning techniques before exploring the concept of vulnerability and the impact it can have upon communication in the police interview. An update on contemporary psychological research will be provided with consideration to whether current interviewing techniques are suitable for adult vulnerable suspects. Finally, how to enhance communication in the forensic interview will be discussed with implications for future practice. 
  2. Liz Prosser & Catherine O'Neill 'The nuts and bolts of working as an Intermediary with Suspects' 10:40-11:40
    • Practical information, illustrated by case studies. 
  3. Grev Wallington 'Appropriate Adults. A brief introduction'  11:50-12:50
    • The presentaion will, briefly, explore the role of the appropriate adult (AA). Providing some insight into the history of the role and why it was introduced. The legal framework, function, when AAs should be required and who can be asked to undertake the role. There will be a brief Q&A session. 
  4. Clifford Mickleburgh 'The Role of an Appropriate Adult and the Consequences of getting a Record' 13:30-14:30
    • ​​​​​​​Clifford will cover anything from shop theft through to murder and what happens when you get arrested. He brieflt covers the arrest and booking in process, the interview and possible consequences. He talks about ensuring that the detained person - Juvenile or Vulnerable Adult - understand the process. He touches on Consequences, Consent, Sex Offences, County Lines, Drugs.
  5. Q&A and Close 14:30-15:00

​​​​​​​Course Aims/Objectives

  • Laura Farrugia
    1. Develop an understanding regarding the vulnerabilities that adult suspects may present with during the police interview. 
    2. Undersand how communication can be enhanced with vulnerable adult suspects based on contemporary psychological research.
  • Liz Prosser & Catherin O'Neill
    1. To enable intermediaries to have sufficient confidence and knowledge to work at the suspect stage of a case. 
  • Grev Wallington
    1. For delegates to better understand the role.
    2. To reflect on how AAs and intermediaries can best work together.
  • Clifford Mickleburgh
    1. To ensure the audience understand Clifford's role as an AA and the consequences of being arrested and having a record (he is not a "do-gooder" or trying to get the Detained Person off. He is there to ensure that they understand the system and look after their best interests). 

Course Method

The workshop is run in the form of a small group training. The presenters will present information and will invite high levels of participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas. Prepared slides/handouts guide the process rather than impart information.

The following materials are provided: 

  • Timetable
  • Glossary of terms
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Guidance for further reading - Bibliography

- Participants to log on 15 minutes prior to start of each session.

- It is required that all participants keep their cameras on throughout the workshop.

- Participants to complete online feedback form post workshop.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your booking with 14 or more days notice, you will receive a full refund minus a £15 admin charge. If you cancel your booking with less than 48 hours' notice, we are unfortunately unable to offer a refund. However, you may substitute another delegate or transfer to another course by giving IfJ at least 24 hours’ notice.

In exceptional circumstances IfJ reserve the right to issue a full refund. Please inform us at the time of cancellation of your particular reason for cancelling. If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please do so by emailing:

We will endeavour to respond to all cancellation requests within two working days. Refunds will be made using the same method of payment as you used for the purchase and will be paid within five-ten days of refund confirmation.

Places are limited to a maximum of 20 participants. There is a minimum requirement of 12 participants. If the minimum number is not met, IfJ reserve the right to cancel the course with at least two weeks' notice and a full refund will be issued.