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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 August, 2004, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Mother takes on Florida criminals
Wendy James
Wendy James will be moving to Florida in 2005
A housewife and mother from Teesside is becoming America's latest crime fighter.

Married mother-of-two Wendy James, 37, from Middlesbrough, has already worked as a mortuary assistant.

She admits to a fascination with dead bodies and took a scene of crime course at Teesside University.

Now the newly-qualified Bachelor of Science in forensics has scooped a top job in Florida, mirroring the hit US TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Mrs James has achieved her BSc (Hons) degree in Crime Scene Science at the university and is now relocating to Florida to work as a crime scene investigator.

She has landed the new job with a sheriff's department in the sunshine state.

But she has never met her new employers face-to-face as the entire recruitment and selection process was done over the internet and by telephone.

Mrs James said: "We decided to emigrate and give the kids a taste of another country.

Crime drama CSI is one of the most popular TV shows in the US
"So I did a few internet searches and found a contact in a sheriff's department in Florida.

"After exchanging a few emails and going through a phone interview, I was amazed to be offered the job."

She said she would prefer to work as a forensics officer on Teesside, but Cleveland Police have no openings.

She added: "UK crime scene training is very sought after in other countries.

"When I first spoke to the Florida sheriff's department, they were amazed that I had done crime scene photography, evidence collection and laboratory analysis and lots more.

"I've seen the CSI TV programmes and they're fun, but not very realistic.

"But I suppose if they interest people in this type of work, they're worth having on the TV."

Mrs James will jet off to Florida with her husband, self-employed painter and decorator Lenny, and their two children Kirsty, 15, and Dominic, 11, next year after Kirsty has completed her school education.

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