Sandi’s parents are both from Warrington, but she grew up in Saltney, right on the Anglo/Welsh border, and as such sees herself as both Welsh and Cestrian (she supports Manchester United, much to Paul Quinn’s disgust). The youngest in her family, she was always quiet and studious as a girl, and nobody was surprised when she got into prestigious Queen Mary’s University. A long-standing love of The Bill had inspired her to become a cop, and because North Wales has more castles than Cheshire she chose to stay yn Gymru.
Already accepted into Bruche police training college, Sandi was raped by a fellow student she’d had a casual sexual encounter with a few weeks earlier. She almost decided to resign her place at police college, but was talked into staying by Paul Quinn. Paul has gone on to take her under his wing in much the same way Jenny Brown took him under hers.
Sandi first appears in Consent, and has some cameos in the later stories set during Paul’s time in Nottinghamshire. The first story to feature them working together, set after Paul returns to work in North Wales, is Ignition.
- Much like Paul, Sandi is learning to be thorough, meticulous and methodical.
- She’s calm under pressure and finds it easy to make decisions even under a lot of stress.
- Sandi isn’t generally very judgemental of ordinary human foibles, which makes her easy to talk to for victims, witnesses, and other officers.
- She’s reflective and willing to admit her mistakes.
- Sandi dislikes breaking rules and departing from procedures, but she’s happy to bend and stretch rules as far as they’ll willingly go.
- Good runner who can usually do a 7-minute mile in the mornings.
- Big Taylor Swift fan.
- Very good soprano voice, can sing many traditional Welsh songs (her favourite is Calon Lân).
- Big Welsh rugby fan, was in Cardiff for the 2005 Grand Slam match and has a (very) well-hidden photograph of herself dressed as a giant daffodil.
- Sandi’s reflective tendencies can sometimes become self-doubt, and she needs a lot of reassurance at times.
- She is unwilling to seek professional help for PTSD despite suffering occasional symptoms after being raped. She doesn’t want to show any weakness in front of male officers.
- Although generally not a judgemental person, Sandi can be very critical of both her older sisters’ life choices.
- She can bend and stretch rules, but dislikes outright breaking even minor ones to the point of aversion, which makes her seem uptight at times.
- Alex O’Loughlin.
- Her favourite Star Wars movie is Revenge of the Sith, and she isn’t at all sorry.
- Not a great revelation, but her full name is Sandra.
- Sandi’s older sisters are twins, Janice and Linda. Janice is the respectable one, a primary school teacher with a husband, a Ford Mondeo, a dog, a Tesco Clubcard and 1 out of 2.4 kids. Linda is the family wild child, currently running a Texas-themed bar in Liverpool after four years teaching Kayaking in Canada, rock-climbing in New Zealand, and scuba-diving in Egypt.
- Her favourite fictional cop is Hawaii 5-0’s Steve McGarrett. Big Taylor Swift fan notwithstanding, her favourite song is Sammy Davis Jr’s You Can Count On Me.
- She had purple hair between the ages of 16 and 20, but decided to dye it back to her natural blonde before starting police training.
- University was a difficult time for Sandi. She struggled to form any lasting friendships and only really spoke to one person after she left. That person, Michelle Strachan, was also the friend who found her after she was raped, and later reported the rape to the police.
- Her relationship with her parents is difficult; they want grandchildren and don’t see any need for their daughters to have careers. Janice, who married fairly young and keeps talking about reducing her hours to part time, is their clear favourite. Since they moved back to Warrington, she hasn’t seen too much of them.
- Sandi made her first arrest after chasing a suspect for nearly three quarters of a mile on foot. Afterwards, the arrestee couldn’t quite believe that she’d stayed with him for that long.
- She can list all the kings and queens of England in order going back to Alfred the Great, even including King Louis the Usually Overlooked. And she can give their correct Scottish titles.
- Sandi’s first name, way back in the mists of time, was originally Janice. I changed it about a month into the first-ever draft of In Murder’s Shadow, but resurrected it as a name for one of her older sisters.