Shropshire

Birthday honours: MBE for woman who helps witnesses

Lorraine Campbell Image copyright Lorraine Campbell
Image caption Lorraine Campbell has worked as a registered intermediary for 15 years

A woman who helps vulnerable witnesses give evidence at trial has been appointed an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Retired teacher Lorraine Campbell, 67, works as an intermediary for the Ministry of Justice, using her skills with young people to help them testify.

In one case, Mrs Campbell, from Shrewsbury, helped a sexual assault victim type the answers she was unable to verbalise in court.

Her work helped to secure a conviction.

Mrs Campbell had noticed the victim, who was selectively mute, would write notes during police interviews.

She and the police sergeant were able to set up specialist laptops so the victim could type her answers - a method that was replicated in the court room where the defendant was found guilty.

'An honour'

"That was the first time it had been done," she said.

The victim, who was "shy and self contained" has "become very happy and outgoing" after the conviction, Mrs Campbell added.

She said her complex work was about making recommendations so witnesses could give the best evidence.

It provided her with a sense of satisfaction knowing she had helped witnesses find a way to say what they needed to say, she said.

Mrs Campbell said she had "knots in [her] tummy" every time she thought of being made an MBE which she described as "an honour".

Also recognised was Valerie Collard, from Shrewsbury, who established Youthline - a helpline for young people in distress.

The 75-year-old was awarded a BEM for services to children and charity.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites