I have worked exclusively as a cell site engineer and expert witness for almost 14 years. During this time, I have worked for many Police Forces and also many defence Solicitors and have completed in excess of 700 cell site reports. I have given evidence in many of the principal UK courts on numerous occasions. It is my background and qualifications in electronic engineering, along with working in the radio communications and mobile network engineering industries giving a combined experience of over 30 years, that provides ‘expert’ credentials. In response to recent publications and scrutiny regarding expert witness credentials, and from an increasing level of experiences in court situations, I would like to provide the following observations;
During the emerging years of cell site analysis, (the late 90’s and early 2000’s) there were just a few specialist companies offering the service. During my early years in this career, from 2005, I encountered several cell site experts from these companies in court on a regular basis. As it was a specialist role, there were not many of us and we frequently met with each other and were often invited into a conference room to discuss matters and provide areas of agreement. Each of the cell site experts I encountered were qualified engineers, with a background in radio communications and mobile telecommunications, mostly with 20-30 years’ experience in the industry.
Greg Robinson was awarded a certificate of commendation last night by Gareth Morgan, Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police. The award was presented for his contribution to the investigation into the murder of Staffordshire midwife Samantha Eastwood in July 2018. Greg was instructed to conduct urgent cell site analysis survey work during the missing person search, which turned into the largest murder enquiry dealt with by this police force in recent history.
There was an article in The Law Society Gazette today following on from the recent collapse of the carbon credits fraud trial. The collapse of the case was due to disclosure issues and the fact that the ‘expert witness’ was found not to be qualified.
It is stated that experts will undergo intensive assessment from June 2019.
The issue of ‘expert witness’ is nothing new. In fact, most of the hard work has already been done, I will explain in due course. However, it is worrying that proposals may simply create a register of witnesses who have been through an ‘intensive assessment’.
A trial has collapsed recently in a fraud prosecution as a result of the prosecutions reliance on an unqualified witness. Narita Bahra QC and John Carl Townsend exposed fundamental disclosure failings which resulted in the collapse of a major carbon credits and diamond prosecution as reported here
The defence team applied to cross-examine the ‘expert’ in a voir dire hearing before he was permitted to give evidence to the jury. It was during this hearing that he was found to be lacking in qualification and experience in relation to his stated expertise. He did however tell the court that he had once seen a documentary on the subject! You really could not make it up. The case makes for disturbing reading and I would like to say we are surprised by this.
This position has now been filled.
The Cell Site Analysis team at Footprint Investigations would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
We have not sent cards to any of our customers but have instead made a donation to Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham.
Our offices will close at 5.30pm on Friday 21st December and re-open at 8.30am on 2nd January 2019.
If you need urgent assistance during this time please call 07728 191777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are only a couple of working weeks left in 2018 which has been a very busy year for the cell site experts. We expanded the team last year and this year have added a further three staff to the team, including a third Cell Site Analysis Expert, a Software Developer and a fourth Cell Site Analyst.
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- Cell Site Of The Week – Kuala Lumpur13th September 2019 - 10:35 am
This picture was taken by one of our Analysts on a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur. K L Tower is the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world.
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