The novel saved by a police forensic team
Posted: 14 April 2012 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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When Trish Vickers lost her sight, she decided to make use of her vivid imagination by painstakingly writing a book in longhand.

But after hours of hard work and careful thought, she was left devastated when she was told that 26 pages were blank because her pen had run out of ink.

The 59-year-old mother feared that the manuscript was lost but the generosity of her local police force meant that it was gradually recovered using forensic technology.

Miss Vickers said she was “gobsmacked” when Dorset police officers agreed to help by sacrificing their lunch hours over five months to study the indents made by her pen.

“I could remember the gist of what I had written but there was no way I could have written exactly the same way again,” she said. “I am so grateful. It was really nice of them and I want to thank them for helping me out.”

Miss Vickers, from Charmouth, near Lyme Regis, lost her sight seven years ago through diabetes and turned to her imagination for solace.

She wrote the opening chapters of her book using a system of elastic bands to keep the lines separated on the pages. Her son, Simon, visited once a week to read her work back to her and a volunteer typed up the novel as she went along.

She said she was particularly looking forward to one such visit from her son after a flash of inspiration prompted her to complete 26 pages. When he arrived, he had to tell her the pages were blank.

The family considered various options before trying the police. Miss Vickers, who used to run a gift shop, said: “We rang them and asked to speak to their fingerprint section. They said if there was anything they could do they’d be happy to help. I was gobsmacked.”

The officer spent her spare time salvaging the work using lights tilted to read the impression made by her pen. When she had finished, she even told Miss Vickers she loved the story and could not wait to read the next part.

Miss Vickers intends to send the novel, called Grannifer’s Legacy, to a publisher. She said: “I have always been interested in writing, I have one of those strange imaginations that runs riot. The police were brilliant and I can’t thank them enough.”

A Dorset police spokesman said a member of staff had completed the work during her lunch hours.

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Posted: 14 April 2012 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So the forensic technique the police used to recover the writing was simply tilted lights? Sounds pretty low-tech.

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Posted: 14 April 2012 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That´s not the point. It´s about dedication and lunch hours!

And… they saved a book!!

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Posted: 15 April 2012 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Well, tilted lights work. There’s also the classic ‘rubbing a pencil gently’ trick.

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