PT/35(b) TIMELINE – PART VI. Dr Reeves’ Examination

Dr Reeves’ examination

The HOLMES statements of Stryjewski (S1138BE, BF), Williamson (S872CM) and
Sutton (S2765G) confirm that Reeves visited D&G on 24 September 1999 and that
Reeves carried out a visual examination of the fragment and DP/31; that Reeves
examined the fragments again at Edinburgh Uni on 7 and 8 October 1999, they having
been taken there by Stryjewski; and that he examined the items again at Dumfries on
9 November 1999. The statements also record the movement of various photographs
and images taken by Reeves.

DP32

The CP of Reeves records that he had met with members of the Crown team including
Counsel, and had given an overview of PCBs and of his own laboratory. It records
that on 24 September 1999 he went to Dumfries and examined PT/35(b), DP/31,
DP/11 and four circuit boards, DP/347 (which comprised 3 boards) and DP/347(a).
He took notes of these, which were lodged as production 1586. [It is apparent that his
primary purpose was to examine and compare DP/31 and PT/35(b), but it is
noteworthy that he also compared these to control sample boards and there is no
suggestion that he thought there to be any differences between them.] He was later
instructed by the Crown to address two specific issues: provide scientific confirmation
that DP/31 had been removed from PT/35(b); and identify where solder material was
present on PT/35(b). It is apparent that these issues arose out of allegations made by
Bollier in his Crown precognition. He conducted further examinations on 7 and 8
October 99 and his conclusions are in his report, prod 1585. In his CP he stated that,
as regards the comparison between DP/31 and PT/35(b), he observed 16 features
consistent with both productions originating from the same fragment and was of the
view that there were more similarities, but he simply stopped at 16 as this was the
number required for standard fingerprint analysis. As regards the observation of
solder attachment points, he found 3 distinct areas of raised material on the land. EDX
analysis confirmed the presence of lead/tin (solder) and he states that these are likely
to be solder attachment points. There is a fourth possible location where an
attachment may have been made where the laminate had been exposed. All these
matters were detailed in his report (prod 1585).

The DP of Reeves basically confirms the above. It also addresses the issue of solder
mask on the fragment, which is mentioned in Reeves’ report. Reeves explains that he
saw some small areas on the track side of the fragment that might indicate it had
solder mask on it. He stated that this might indicate that the fragment was solder
masked on the track side, or that it was not solder masked on that side but that it was
definitely solder masked on the non-track side and debris from that side landed on the
unmasked side during the course of some extreme event occurring to the fragment, or
that during the sawing of the fragment during forensic examination it was possible
that solder masking from the non track side contaminated the track side. He stated
that there was evidence of solder masking material within the saw cuts. He was asked
how, if the track side had originally been solder masked, it would now have the
appearance of not being solder masked. He stated that it could have been deliberately
removed after manufacture for some reason; or some extreme event may have
occurred which removed the solder masking, although he was not really qualified to
speak about this possibility; or that the track side was exposed to some kind of solvent
which removed the masking.

Reeves was also asked about para 3.1 of his report where he referred to the fragment
having been thinned after manufacture and he said this probably occurred because it
was polished by the prosecution as part of the forensic examination – it ended up that
the board was kind of wedge-shaped in that at one point it was a certain thickness and
towards the edge it became thinner because of the polishing process. It is apparent
from his report that he is referring to DP/31 when he talks of the thinning of the
fragment. It is known that the solder mask was ground down from DP/31 (see
Worroll’s examination on 23 May 1990), which might account for the difference in
width at different points on the fragment.

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