15 February 1990
Removal of 3rd sample – DP/10 (Crown label n° 416) –
sample of copper conducting track – copper test
By previous appointment Williamson and Harrower visited Yates Circuit Foils,
Silloth, Cumbria, and met Michael Whitehead (S5587), chemical process manager,
who analysed the copper foil used to manufacture the board from which PT/35(b)
came. Whitehead removed from PT/35(b) a tiny (in his defence precognition and his
evidence Whitehead said the sample was about lmm X 3mm and triangular in shape,
visible to the naked eye) fragment of copper conducting track, designated DP/10, and
it was treated for microscopic examination (an account of this treatment is contained
in Whitehead’s defence precognition) and positioned on an examination stud, and
microscopic examination of the “matt side topography7′ on the underside of the
sample was carried out and comparison made to samples of copper foil produced by
Yates and by their main competitor, Gould Electronics (see below). According to his
HOLMES statement, Whitehead’s conclusion was that the copper was produced by
Gould Electronics because of the appearance of the “Dendritic structures” in the
copper. He suggested that the copper was made around 5 years previously, as around
that time the dendritic structures in the copper produced by Gould changed.
However, Williamson and Harrower’s HOLMES statements suggest that Whitehead’s
conclusion was that the copper was made at most 5 years ago, which seems slightly
different from “around” 5 years ago.
In his evidence Whitehead said that he was able to tell the police his own company
had not manufactured the copper and said he was able to identify an alternate source
but could not be definitive – presumably he meant the alternate source was Gould
(although note the comment in his CP below). He was not asked for any more detail.
However, in his defence precognition Whitehead said that he had concluded that
neither Yates nor Gould had manufactured the copper, and that he thought it looked
like Far Eastern technology. Whitehead was not cross-examined at all. In
Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 6&7/6/00 it is recorded that Williamson’s understanding
was that Whitehead thought that Gould had manufactured the copper, and the PF’s
note states that this contrasts with Whitehead’s precognition. In his CP Whitehead
said that the sample he examined was not made by his own company and he did not
think it was manufactured by Gould either, but it could have been an old Gould
sample. He said in his opinion the sample was manufactured in the Far East i.e.
Japan, and he recommended that the police concentrate enquiries to ID the
manufacturer of the copper there. He said he had no recollection of telling police that
the copper was produced by Gould and if he did say this it was incorrect. A note by
the precognoscer points out the inconsistency between Whitehead’s position and that
of Harrower’s statement, and says that Whitehead’s view is that Harrower’s statement
is wrong and he gives a “convincing explanation” in support of the Far East theory,
referring to the pyramid features shown in the micrographs. The note points out that
the defence are aware of the discrepancy. It also points out that the manuscript police
statements for this part of the enquiry cannot be traced. Williamson’s CP then states
(presumably after being asked about it) that he vaguely recalled there being some
discussion regarding the Far East, in conversation, but that he did not recollect
Whitehead concluding that the foil had been manufactured in the Far East.
It seems clear from this and from the terms of Whitehead’s DP that, prior to trial,
Whitehead’s recollection was that the copper had been manufactured in the Far East.
Harrower’s ch10 CP is similar to Williamson’s, in that it states his recollection to be
that Whitehead felt the copper foil had not been manufactured by his company but
had most likely been manufactured by Gould. During his original examination of
DP/10 Whitehead produced 6 close-up Polaroid photographs showing the different
Dendritic structures, and these photos were designated DP/14 (prod 340, the police
label for which was completed and signed by Harrower, according to his ch10 CP;
Harrower noted but had no explanation as to why Whitehead had not signed this
label). NB according to a note added to the HOLMES statement of Whitehead,
subsequently DP/10 became detached from the stud mounting during an examination
by Robert Lomer (see 7 March 1990 below) and because of its minute size, was lost.
In evidence Whitehead was shown DP/10 and said he did not think he could see the
sample on the stud.
NB Michael Whitehead was also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a
control sample MST-13 circuit board – see under 6 March 1992, below. NB It is
difficult to identify Whitehead’s signature on the label for DP/10, or on the label for