Principal Organiser: Patrick Low

PhD student in History – Sunderland University

Patrick is a research beacon funded, final year PhD student at Sunderland University. His thesis is entitled A Study of Capital Punishment in the North East of England 1752-1878.  During his study he was employed by the Wellcome Trust funded Harnessing of the Criminal Corpse Project to create their online exhibition (

He writes a blog on execution in the North East of England at and has been involved in several public engagement projects including providing academic talks in conjunction with performances at Newcastle’s Live Theatre and Newcastle’s Central Library and the Lit & Phil Society. In 2015, he was awarded the people’s choice award at the North East Three Minute Thesis competition.

Co-Organiser: Clare Sandford-Couch

Senior Lecturer in Law – University of Northumbria Law School

Clare Sandford-Couch Joined Northumbria’s School of Law after practising as a solicitor for several years in London and Newcastle, specialising in Company and Corporate matters. As a Senior Lecturer, her teaching included Legal History and Trials of Dissenters.

Following a PhD addressing an intersection of legal history and art history, focusing on late-medieval Italy, her research interests are interdisciplinary. Current ongoing research explores interactions of visual culture and law, and criminal legal histories in nineteenth-century Newcastle.

Co-Organiser: Helen Rutherford 

Senior Lecturer & Solicitor – University of Northumbria Law School

Helen Rutherford is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Northumbria University. She is a solicitor and practices in the award-winning Student Law Office and also teaches on undergraduate modules including civil litigation, inquests and trials of dissenters. In addition to lecturing at Northumbria, she is carrying out PhD research at Newcastle University into the life and work of the Victorian Coroner for Newcastle upon Tyne, John Theodore Hoyle. Nineteenth century legal history, in particular micro history with a North East England focus, is her main research interest.