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trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend
UK Criminal Evidence Delays

Due to delays in passing evidence to the defence certain building blocks of evidence used against a defendant are not being held by the prosecution, but worst still, the expert who obtains, for instance the tests and results, holds on to them because they claim their client (the Police) haven't made that a term of the instructions to pass them over. The police say they don't need to have it because the expert hasn't said it's necessary so they wont ask for it.

So what makes me and others think that we should expect, as a requirement, all the mobile telephone/cell site analysis evidence upfront from the prosecution and why do we think, as a requirement, the prosecution have a lawful duty to have obtained all the evidence from their expert, in order to meet the first requirement?

It is the lawful duty, so we are told, of the prosecution to look at, examine and retain a copy of all evidence (e.g. tests and results) and to conduct an assessment of risk, which is the principle enunciated in the "Golden Rule" by none other than Lord Bingham.

Examiners/Experts at common law are no longer entitled or permitted to arbitrarily withhold any evidence from their work in a case but are required to produce to the prosecution an index of all used and unused material they are holding which should replicate the actual physical copy of evidence given to the prosecution. So for a case involving mobile telephone/cell site analysis that would mean

1) written instructions of work to be undertaken

2) call records/subscriber details

3) cell site details and data

4) GPS/CCTV evidence

5) handset/SIM (USIM) data and report

6) copy of the actual radio test measurement results obtained at site and presented in a visible, legible and intelligible format (with the electronic file of the original radio test measurements to accompany them)

7) copy of the expert's analysis of the results, report and any supporting exhibits

8 ) copy of written questions to and written responses from the mobile network operator

9) material considered and unused material and/or material disgarded as not relevant

…….and so on.

This enables the prosecution to sit down and examine what is on file put before them by the examiner/expert (usually the data can be recorded onto a CD costing less than £1.00) and all the material on CD and/or in paper form are identified on a tick sheet. The prosecutor/prosecution should then avail him/herself/themselves of the knowledge of that material by familiarisation with the information on the CD and/or in paper form. As some information may not be readily understood the examiner/expert should be called (by phone, written or in a meeting) to explain material or information not understoood. The risk assessment can then be made.

It is equally understood that the right of the defence to investigate the evidence held against a defendant was and is to stop cases being brought against anyone where evidence was being withheld, in a deliberate or clandestine fashion, in order to meet the principles of ECHR (Foucher v France). No evidence on file can be withheld from a defendant and no steps should be taken to find mechanisms to avoid holding or hiding evidence from the defendant. For the avoidance of doubt, I am not referring to public interest immunity (PII) information, which is another matter entirely.

So it is easy to see the principles enunciated by Lord Bingham in the Golden Rule contain impeccable logic and foresight. The Golden Rule requires the prosecution to logically assess that it has a complete copy of the evidence e.g. tests and results and if they were not held by the prosecution

A) How would it be possible for the prosecution to conduct a risk assessment without the full evidence made available to them from their examiner/expert?

B) What happens, for instance, if the examiner/expert dies and no one can find the test results?

…. and the list goes on.

So what are the current delays? Whenever asking for standard mobile telephone evidence, for instance items such as cell site radio test measurement data or ask for corroboration of enquiries to and written responses from the mobile operator, the prosecution do not readily hold the evidence and massive delays ensue until just before going before the Judge part of the evidence suddenly emerges and then the defence are left to hurry an examination of that evidence.

I have a case on right now where I requested evidence on the 6th March 2009 and apart from the prosecution correcting mistakes in their material which the defence had to point out to make any sense of what the prosecution's evidence was meant to mean, the other corrobating information expected to be found in the file or CD under the Golden Rule principle and could/should have have been disclosed up front in March, this still has NOT been served. For instance, the radio test results have still not been served along with other information.

These delays impact by causing problems for the defence in many ways. Some examples are

i) Defence experts are expected to tidy up the technical errors and mistakes (not typos though) with the prosecution's evidence. This implicitly means though that defence experts are acting as quasi-prosecution experts. These errors and mistakes are red-herrings though and occupy defence time to put them right, so by the time the requested evidence comes through the trial date is upon us and then the defence have limited time to conduct a proper and orderly analysis, which implicitly means the defence are equally being cajoled into overlooking some evidence or make mistakes due to being rushed.

As a side matter that is also concerning. If by chance some were to suggest that the observation about quasi-prosecution experts is not true, then consider this. If defence experts were to write reports delivered at court before the jury identifying all the inherent technical flaws and what evidence had not been served or served late just before/at trial, a defence expert would be more likely to get a reprimand from the Judge for wasting time and for not raising it sooner. In the alternative, the prosecution would go away correct the mistake and put version 4 of the evidence before the jury. It still means the same thing though, that defence experts are being placed into the position of acting as quasi-prosecution expert because the work they do identifying those corrections will be used against a defendant. My natural instincts tell me this is an appaulling breach of human rights. It will take someone with a far greater mind than mine, maybe even Lord Bingham, himself, to put that in the appropriate legal context highlighting that injustice in the current criminal evidential procedures.

Additional note When mentioning human rights and injustice, my comments are not intended to campaign to get criminals off, my intentions are clearly about the rules that define how evidence should be presented and the roles people play in that process and about evidence generally. It is also about safeguarding our rights, our childrens' rights and our families' right to a fair trial in Britain, as opposed to deciding who gets the better court case based upon who understands what evidence should have been presented at the outset.

ii) The discussion being raised is not about where mobile telephone evidence suddenly becomes relevant just before or during a trial and taking everyone by surprise, it is where the evidence has already been examined and the delays to present the evidence to the defence means changes that can be happening in the radio network or the operator deletes data after a period of time prevents the defence from pursing lines of investigation of their own or conducting tests. The delays muddy the waters for the defence to properly do their job.

iii) Where the defence expert is prevented from knowing the weight of the technical case against a defendant it means the defence expert cannot properly advise the defence solicitors. More importantly this handcuffs the defendant from knowing the prima facie case against him or her.

iv) Another matter which is causing headaches by the prosecution's actions of delaying service of evidence which they already hold (Golden Rule requirement) but they choose not to disclose for months on end impacts as defence experts cannot afford the time locked to a case over a long period. More importantly, as cases that run for months and months means the defence expert is not being paid until the end of the case it is just not financially viable for the defence expert to take the work. Consequently defence experts are being driven out. It should be noted also defence experts have no powers to demand evidence, we can only ask. This means that we are left to correct the prosecution technical errors and point out in advance the missing evidence (see - i) quasi-prosecution expert, above).

These evidential delays have not just started but have been going on, and with increased regularity, long before the recession started, so the recession is not the reason for the delay occurrences. The delays are not stated in procedural requirements and are not stated to be accepted because they (the delays) are usual, standard practice. The remedy to make these problems to go away is absolutely clear and easy to achieve and that is for the prosecution to stop the delays in serving evidence and present it up front, without delay, in every case using the Golden Rule evidential acquisition process needed in order to conduct a risk assessment. The CD/paper work can then be immediately passed to the defence without delay.

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Posted : 23/05/2009 11:46 am
Redcelica67
(@redcelica67)
Active Member

Great article!

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Posted : 05/06/2009 2:03 am
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

Redcelica67 - thanks for your comments.

Let's hope others see the benefits of this as opposed to some thinking if they burying their heads in the sand the systemic problems will go away.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/06/2009 6:07 pm
Ninja
(@ninja)
New Member

oops Am totally impressed with your assessment of the Justice system, its a problem world-over and if we dont team up to fight it. The term "Justice delayed is Justice denied" will continue to occur. I wish i could aid your fight but what could I do but be sympathatic to your course. I suffer so much in my own country. I once had a Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) release a kidnapper with any authorization from the court or notification from us. I believe in fighting the system to make it better. Cheers & Kudos to your effort!!!

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Posted : 23/07/2009 6:28 pm
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

Thank you Ninja, my apologies for not responding to your comments earlier.

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Posted : 06/08/2009 10:33 pm
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

Just wanted to add an extra piece to this discussion that I had considered when forming my observations.

The case in point deals with fairness, not simply from a defence view point but prosecution, too. When requesting evidence it is a 'requirement' of the defence expert (thus defence) if, during examination and analysis, there is something wrong with the evidence or there is evidence missing that the defence expert should ask for it no matter how late in the day.

That is because if the defence expert doesn't ask for it the defence cannot request it and it could lead to an unfair trial. So when it is thought I am giving the prosecution a hard time over requesting evidence and asking them where is this particular piece of evidence that they would naturally need in order to know whether, say have the Masts changed or not before testing, it is not my intention to make someone look bad, or imply they don't know what they doing or in some way create difficulties.

As an expert there is a requirement to inform the defence, whether they like it or not, tedius or not, the expert must put it to them and seek the evidence or understanding about the evidence. That is because it is the duty of the defence to raise it to the prosecution so that prosecution are given a fair chance to deal with the request.

For the discussion in this thread it took account of the Gleeson principle, which I record below.

Testing the evidence In our adversarial system, the defence, of course, are entitled to exploit adventitious faults and failings by the prosecution. Auld LJ in his Report of the Criminal Courts Review incorporated into his judgment in the case of Gleeson [2003] EWCA Crim 3357 at paragraph 36, in which he said

"To the extent that the prosecution may legitimately wish to fill possible holes in its case once issues have been identified by the defence statement, it is understandable why as a matter of tactics a defendant might prefer to keep his case close to his chest. But that is not a valid reason for preventing a full and fair hearing on the issues canvassed at the trial. A criminal trial is not a game under which a guilty defendant should be provided with a sporting chance. It is a search for truth in accordance with the twin principles that the prosecution must prove its case and that a defendant is not obliged to inculpate himself, the object being to convict the guilty and acquit the innocent. Requiring a defendant to indicate in advance what he disputes about the prosecution case offends neither of those principles."

Some important words there are "….once issues have been identified by the defence statement….." and "Requiring a defendant to indicate in advance". How can that be done if the defence expert has seen errors or omissions in the prosecution evidence but then goes on not to ask for those gaps to be filled?

The problem here will be that where evidence is trickle fed to the expert s/he will always be tactically put on the back foot so as not to catch up, thus potentially failing the principle whereas if all the evidence is disclosed up front would that problem still exist?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/08/2009 11:04 pm
pwakely
(@pwakely)
Junior Member

I was thinking about this discussion, specifically the point about "where is this particular piece of evidence that they would naturally need in order to know whether, say have the Masts changed or not before testing" and am wondering how far this can reasonably be taken.

By "have the masts changed" I assume you're including all aspects of the local mast transmission, including location, power-levels and IDs? (are the network providers legally obliged to maintain historical records for this? or if not, then would an acceptable response to your question by the other party be that those records were sought but not available, and while it is possible the site could have changed that there is no reason to believe it has, for example?).

How are weather and seasonal effects taken into account (if at all)? (For example signal attenuation will be higher during heavy rain, or higher in summer compared to winter in areas with significant tree cover etc). Alternatively, is the principal simply that you wish to verify that the suspect "could have" received the power-level as indicated by the records at the stated location (e.g. what happens to your argument if you go there and the level is too low, but it's raining and heavily wooded in summer when records were from a clear day mid-winter). I'm trying to consider how the court would consider the value of the expert's personal cell site survey measurements, and what lattitude is give to variability.

Phil.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/08/2009 2:37 pm
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

Good points Phil, my observations to your questions are

By "have the masts changed" I assume you're including all aspects of the local mast transmission, including location, power-levels and IDs?

Yes. But power levels as the output for the Mast not the power-level used by the mobile phone for a particular call. I think Phil you may need to identify what you mean by location? I read it one way and the operator can understand my location request, but maybe surprised if faced with a location request were you to be thinking timing advance area, GPS etc.

(are the network providers legally obliged to maintain historical records for this?

Yes to maintain all the information about a particular Mast up until 6-months after its decommissioned (PMOL) or in accordance with requirements (pre 2000). So if the Mast has been in commission for ten years then the operators database is required to retain ten years of logs. That is because no archive limit was set. But there are Directives, Statutes, Regulations, Requirements and Licences and Standards that are also important and applicable to all the issues you raise.

The term Historical Call Record is only part of the story. Reference to particular Cell ID used on a paricular Mast recorded in the single CDR generates the starting point from which extrapolation of tiny pieces of information in CDR opens up databases of current and archival data about the Cell ID and its Mast etc etc.

This is why I created the Core Foundation Course for Cell Site Analysis (CSA), because I believe no one should be let loose on evidence or cell site analysis until they know how to identify the directives, laws, rules and standards and other aspects of information used for cell site analysis. This is one tier of many when raising issues to the defence so that defence can meet the Gleeson principle

or if not, then would an acceptable response to your question by the other party be that those records were sought but not available, and while it is possible the site could have changed that there is no reason to believe it has, for example?).

The information is available so the above question is rather moot because it flies in the face of what is known and the information that is available.

How are weather and seasonal effects taken into account (if at all)? (For example signal attenuation will be higher during heavy rain, or higher in summer compared to winter in areas with significant tree cover etc). Alternatively, is the principal simply that you wish to verify that the suspect "could have" received the power-level as indicated by the records at the stated location (e.g. what happens to your argument if you go there and the level is too low, but it's raining and heavily wooded in summer when records were from a clear day mid-winter). I'm trying to consider how the court would consider the value of the expert's personal cell site survey measurements, and what lattitude is give to variability.

The queries above are not data the operator is required to hold, although if one of their Mast antennas goes down because of an atmospheric condition (cause for outage - struck by lightning) then yes they may well have a record about that.

The points you raise are on a case-by-case basis and note the term 'case' because it shrouds a multitude of issues which you wont know until you see the case papers.

How the court might take the points you raise is how you present them. For instance, in a case I advised my client to bring in a Weather Expert because although I knew to consider weather conditions, I wasn't an expert in that subject. I did know how to translates the Weather Expert's opinion to understand its implications for mobile calls. However, the points you raise above have already been academically studied and the implications already known, so why re-invent the wheel.

For instance, the Weather Expert indicated in his report intense rainfall for the material times of certain calls. You raise the issue of attentuation, so what principle would you argue?

- Shannon's Theorem
- Nyquist Limit
- Rutherford Appleton 1972

You understand Phil I am not challenging you, I am illustrating ways you may wish to present evidence.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/08/2009 6:52 pm
pwakely
(@pwakely)
Junior Member

You understand Phil I am not challenging you, I am illustrating ways you may wish to present evidence.

Thanks for the reply - I'm very much approaching this as an interesting discussion, am not intending or taking this as confrontational )

My background is long term embedded system, software and protocol design/development for multimedia, wireless and security systems, branched into digital investigation and forensics, so my terminology might be affected by this.

I've worked with several RF transmission systems and protocols, but while I've had to perform tests and measurements of transmissions and sensitivity, I have not been involved with cell site analysis for cellular forensics, however the questions raised in the thread interest me, so I hoped you'd be ok with me jumping in, even though my knowledge will be limited in some areas that could be easily addressed. For example I have not seen the exact content/format of the records which would be made available on request, so do not know exactly what they contain, e.g. whether the record shows the apparent signal strength [RSSI] of the mobile equipment as measured at the base-station, or the RSSI of tower as measured in handset, or both; I appreciate this means I could easily ask what might seem an odd question by assuming the wrong answer to this, e.g. changes to antenna max power output would be irrelevant if only considering mobile station RSSI as measured at the base-station. Of course please feel free to refer me back to books/course information if I am asking anything too basic in that regard.

So, hoping you're ok with me continuing the discussion…

Yes. But power levels as the output for the Mast not the power-level used by the mobile phone for a particular call. I think Phil you may need to identify what you mean by location? I read it one way and the operator can understand my location request, but maybe surprised if faced with a location request were you to be thinking timing advance area, GPS etc.

Regarding "location" I was indeed referring to cell site antenna mast location (rather than any form of user/mobile station location as determined by handset or network-based location services). I appreciate the power level used by the phone (and the mast) can vary on a per call basis dependent on other users in the cell amongst other aspects.

Yes to maintain all the information about a particular Mast up until 6-months after its decommissioned (PMOL) or in accordance with requirements (pre 2000). So if the Mast has been in commission for ten years then the operators database is required to retain ten years of logs.

So to clarify, if a mast is decommisioned, then the records for that site may be discarded/destroyed after six months?

How the court might take the points you raise is how you present them. For instance, in a case I advised my client to bring in a Weather Expert because although I knew to consider weather conditions, I wasn't an expert in that subject. I did know how to translates the Weather Expert's opinion to understand its implications for mobile calls. However, the points you raise above have already been academically studied and the implications already known, so why re-invent the wheel.

For instance, the Weather Expert indicated in his report intense rainfall for the material times of certain calls. You raise the issue of attentuation, so what principle would you argue?

- Shannon's Theorem
- Nyquist Limit
- Rutherford Appleton 1972

More likely the Uncertainty Principle 😉 Strangely enough I wasn't planning on challenging (our current understanding of) the basic laws of physics or information theory.

I agree that some of the points I raised were answered by your description of use of the weather expert implies that sufficiently detailed records are kept (which I had not assumed would be available with necessary accuracy), but I don't think the other part of my point was addressed - This relates to experience I have from the past with bespoke multi-user wireless telecoms installations where the attenuation on transmission paths varied to an unexpected degree based on weather and seasonal issues; For example where installers placed antennas in locations with good RSSI measured by both ends in winter without realising that trees grow leaves… leading to dropouts and loss of service in spring especially when combined with (minor) weather effects. So I was considering the similar issue of a forensic cell site analysis apparently confirming capability in winter which did not match with summer (or equivalent).

In writing this I'm wondering if I'm thinking this through too far, but… it's interesting to consider.

Phil.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/08/2009 8:42 pm
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

I've worked with several RF transmission systems and protocols, but while I've had to perform tests and measurements of transmissions and sensitivity, I have not been involved with cell site analysis for cellular forensics, however the questions raised in the thread interest me, so I hoped you'd be ok with me jumping in, even though my knowledge will be limited in some areas that could be easily addressed. For example I have not seen the exact content/format of the records which would be made available on request, so do not know exactly what they contain, e.g. whether the record shows the apparent signal strength [RSSI] of the mobile equipment as measured at the base-station, or the RSSI of tower as measured in handset, or both; I appreciate this means I could easily ask what might seem an odd question by assuming the wrong answer to this, e.g. changes to antenna max power output would be irrelevant if only considering mobile station RSSI as measured at the base-station. Of course please feel free to refer me back to books/course information if I am asking anything too basic in that regard.

Here is a sample indication of the content of a single CDR

http//trewmte.blogspot.com/2009/05/call-detail-record-cdr-gsm-mobile.html

CDR, historical records do not contain any RSSI measurement (MS or BTS), they are not necessary for billing purposes. Engineering information from the network operator is separate matter and not part of call record data.

So to clarify, if a mast is decommisioned, then the records for that site may be discarded/destroyed after six months?

Yes

More likely the Uncertainty Principle 😉 Strangely enough I wasn't planning on challenging (our current understanding of) the basic laws of physics or information theory.

No worries you wouldn't have been able to do that anyway. The only one of those three choices directly relating to heavy rain is Rutherford Appleton 1972 which concluded that short but intense rainfall greater than 23mm-sq in an area could affect microwave signals, due to the shape of the raindrop (absorbent thus depleting power). That under such conditions, transmitted signals should perform at approximately 99%.

but I don't think the other part of my point was addressed - This relates to experience I have from the past with bespoke multi-user wireless telecoms installations where the attenuation on transmission paths varied to an unexpected degree based on weather and seasonal issues; For example where installers placed antennas in locations with good RSSI measured by both ends in winter without realising that trees grow leaves… leading to dropouts and loss of service in spring especially when combined with (minor) weather effects. So I was considering the similar issue of a forensic cell site analysis apparently confirming capability in winter which did not match with summer (or equivalent).

Seasonal issues do come into it but I guess in my last response I didn't think you wanted specifics. Natural clutter and foliage can be a problem because it is not easy to deal with when drawing a comparison to Fresnel zone and LoS. However, not all academic authors agree that foliage should be touted as a radio inhibitor unless certain conditions prevail. Doble wrote in 1995

"The effects of foliage cover has been questioned, as there might be seasonal variation from this. However, recent measurements in rural areas has shown that the losses from tree cover are confined to those due to trunk and branches, and the foliage itself does not contribute any measureable effect, although rain-covered foliage could add extra attentuation."

When Doble made that statement he was of course commenting on UHF Propagation (900-MHz and 1800-MHz). However, my own experience of these frequencies is to invite anyone to stand behind a dense pine tree wooded area and sample the coverage with the Mast propagating on the other side. Pine Trees are large thin trunked shrubs, and it is the pine needle density causing problems. The drop in signal strength alone can be huge and I am not talking about 50% (3dB relative) either.

Equally, I cannot see how foliage wouldn't affect mobile phone at the boundary in summer, where as no foliage in winter presents clear LoS or NLos but with good signal strength. In my training courses, I endeavour to assist students to take a practical assessment of terrain by identifying Terrain Classification Models. One of the best known is the British Telecomunications Terrain Classification, but later Models such as Urban Topography Models are helpful to focus the attention as they have secondary levels Models to deal with determining influences (BSD), (BAI), (BHD) and (VI).

What is important to remember about received signal strength is that generally it is considered to be a composite of three discrete effects - path loss, slow fading and fast fading. So whilst foliage or seasonal issues can be considered (if relevant), there are still so many other issues as well, and I have hinted at some of them above. Also you need to be aware of other technical factors such as cell selection (C1) and cell re-selection (C2). Here's another issue you may find of interest recorded at my webblog

http//trewmte.blogspot.com/2007/02/gsm-radio-test-measurements-non.html

Finally, do remember conducting radio tests doesn't of itself confirm the location of the mobile phone at the time of an alleged event/s. Accuracy becomes even more of an accute issue if testing is being conducted some time after the alleged event/s as changing Masts, configuration or arrangements can impact on the service area. Radio technologies 3G testing should not be considered as a direct parallel comparison test with GSM.

I could say more but I trust I have at least answered your question more fully.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 09/08/2009 3:04 am
pwakely
(@pwakely)
Junior Member

Thanks for including the CDR link - and highlighting the fact that these records do not include any measure of RSSI, which is key to my appreciation of what can/cant be achieved in terms of assessing consistency of records with statements.

I am interested to find that you would/do consider clutter/foliage and even terrain models, and the Doble quote is particularly interesting regarding its mention of rain-covered leaves and their potential pertinence. I appreciate that in discussing the path loss from a single MS to BTS we are looking at a limited set of the overall system features and functionality (and that 3G has a whole set of different aspects/issues than GSM), but this has been a helpful focus.

Thank you for an interesting and useful discussion.

Phil.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10/08/2009 12:54 am
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

Thanks for including the CDR link - and highlighting the fact that these records do not include any measure of RSSI, which is key to my appreciation of what can/cant be achieved in terms of assessing consistency of records with statements.

I am not suggesting you cannot get engineering information and other composite records (it largely depends as to the type of case under investigation), but the historical records seen in evidence do not contain received signal strength indicator (RSSI).

I am interested to find that you would/do consider clutter/foliage and even terrain models, and the Doble quote is particularly interesting regarding its mention of rain-covered leaves and their potential pertinence.

Cell site analysis has never been about going to site, running tests and forming an opinion from the results that coverage from a particular Mast is detected there; ergo it is consistent with the mobile phone in question being there. That coverage may not have been there previously. That could be because, in a dense urban setting, a new building but with no vegetation/foliage in the area can can produce a radio barrier. The reverse of the above scenario, of course, demolishing a building can generate coverage in area where it was not there previously. So that is one reason for landscape clutter/models.

Another is taking the good point you raised at the outset Phil about seasonal effect (Spring and Autumn), this can be analogous to the new build/demolished building scenario. Freeman raises the issue of attentuation through vegetation having marshalled the propagation data he writes in Radio System Design

"The curves represent the approximate average for all types of woodland for frequencies up to 3GHz. When the attentuation inside such woodland become large (i.e., > 30dB), the possibility of diffraction or surface modes has to be considered (Ref 14)." Reference 14 refers to Attentuation in Vegetation CCIR Rec. 833, RPN Series, CCIR, Geneva 1992.

This is why I drew reference to a Pine Wooded area. Firstly, because during my radio tests signal strength dropped by 33dB relative when testing one side of the wooded area and the quality indicator nearly dropped through the floor. The other side of the wooded area introduced a surprise. It came up in a case near Kings Lynn some years ago where Vodafone coverage had swept over the flat lands of Cambridgeshire and upto the wooded area in Kings Lynn presenting itself as usable coverage in a gladed area of the Pine Wood, close to the location of interest.

So cases like the above also require the examiner to equally have awareness about and know the difference between 'back-stop' and 'hard-limit'.

Hope that provides just a little further clarification for clutter/foliage.

I appreciate that in discussing the path loss from a single MS to BTS we are looking at a limited set of the overall system features and functionality (and that 3G has a whole set of different aspects/issues than GSM).

Yes, absolutely hard handover -v- soft handover; cell boundary -v- cell breathing; near/far effect -v- diversity etc etc etc

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10/08/2009 3:19 pm
harryparsonage
(@harryparsonage)
Active Member
UK Criminal Evidence Delays

It is the lawful duty, so we are told, of the prosecution to look at, examine and retain a copy of all evidence (e.g. tests and results) and to conduct an assessment of risk, which is the principle enunciated in the "Golden Rule" by none other than Lord Bingham.

Greg

Whilst I cannot in anyway challenge your encyclopedic knowledge of mobile phone technology I have to suggest that your interpretation of the prosecution duties is a little unclear.

The prosecution put forward whatever "evidence" they consider is sufficient to mount a successful prosecution.

Other than that the duty of disclosure is principally governed by -

* the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 as amended (the Act)
* the Code of Practice, issued under section 23 of the Act (the Code)
* Parts 25-28 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 (the Rules)
* the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (Defence Disclosure Time Limits) Regulations 1997 issued under section 12 of the Act (the Regulations).

The CPIA which dictates how the police deal with "material" states that the police must retain "relevant material" which is defined in the Code as anything that appears to an investigator, or the officer in charge of an investigation or the disclosure officer to have some bearing on any offence under investigation or any person being investigated or on the surrounding circumstances unless it is incapable of having any impact on the case.

As a police officer I am not that familiar with the term "golden rule" but I know that Lord Bingham did qualify it with "If material does not weaken the prosecution case or strengthen that of the Defendant, there is no requirement to disclose it. For this purpose the parties’ respective cases should not be restrictively analysed. But they must be carefully analysed, to ascertain the specific facts the prosecution seek to establish and the specific grounds on which the charges are resisted. The trial process is not well served if the defence are permitted to make general and unspecified allegations and then seek far reaching disclosure in the hope that material may turn up to make them good. Neutral material or material damaging to the Defendant need not be disclosed and should not be brought to the attention of the court.”

So whilst I understand your frustration with the disclosure process and your high standards in terms of evidential requirements, it is simply not correct to say that the prosecution have a duty to reveal all that you suggest. It is not the duty of the disclosure officer to go through in detail all the notes of a prosecution expert that the expert has gathered during the course of their work. The expert has a duty to the court to reveal anything that would assist the defence or weaken the prosecution case and that should be clear from the expert's statement.

I can see that it would be useful for experts to come up with some common form of standard evidential template so that everyone is working to that same standard and you would all then receive the same package of information regardless of which side you are on.

regards

Harry

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/08/2009 1:38 am
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

Harry
The Golden Rule has already been set out and although it is appreciated the comments you make are your observations they are not in context with the principles of the Golden Rule. These are not rules I made, I am just following them.

The Gleeson principle supercedes the points you raised as does the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule walks 'hand-in-hand' with the Gleeson principle. Defence examiners or experts wishing to avoid being taken to task by their clients for failing to advise them to ensure to ask for the evidence are opening themselves up for trouble. CPR2005 doesn't impact on the above principles.

The use of the argument using isolationism inferences such as "your high standards" is a tired old hoary spectre, stagnated and stale. It is not good psychology, but flawed. It implies that no one else is working to high standards accept me; hardly an endearing comment to imply about other FF members at first instance.

The standards are high because they were set that way to ensure fairness and fair trials and we all are simply working to those standards, we didn't invent them or create them. But of course as a matter of conjecture as we, or I, work to high standards does that mean by implication you are suggesting you work to low standards? Do you see where I am coming from Harry?

Moreover, by definition, and just as a discussion point, maybe the computer and mobile forensic industry would love to see the rule or the rule of law that ever instructed or consented to the evidence being used that was intended to be generated to low standards.

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Posted : 11/08/2009 3:46 am
Jacko
(@jacko)
New Member

Harry,

As a serving officer/investigator like yourself, I agree with your comments concerning duty of disclosure. However I do not believe that by mentioning Trews standards you were being disrespectful to other FF members, and undoubtedly your standards (along with every other serving officers/investigators/examiners) will be as high as those of Trew and others in the forensic community!!!

Regards,

Jacko.

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Posted : 11/08/2009 5:25 pm
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