Allen W Feraday OBE
Born 23 December 1937
Former Head of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory, EC3, at the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment (RARDE) of the Ministry of defence (MoD). RARDE was renamed Defence Research Establishment (DRE) in 1991 and was again renamed, as Defence and Evaluation Research Agency (DERA) in 1995.
Feraday had previously been number two at the explosives lab under Dr Thomas Hayes until Hayes resigned in 1989. Hayes and Feraday produced in 1991 the Joint Report into the forensics of the Lockerbie case which provided so much of the evidence which resulted in the conviction of Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi. Although he has no formal qualifications in science, other than a low-level technician’s Higher National Certificate, Allen Feraday had gained many years of experience in forensic investigation of high-profile terrorism-related cases. Unfortunately, his work on many of those cases and the evidence he gave which led to the conviction and jailing of several alleged terrorists turned out to be seriously flawed as case after case was overturned on appeal by the UK courts.
Feraday’s involvement in the Lockerbie case, together with that of Thomas Hayes, is crucial. While Hayes is credited by many as the expert who found the all-important PT35B fragment, it was Feraday who claimed that the fragment was “similar in all respects” to a MST-13 timer which proved the link to Libya and Megrahi. In fact it was, as we now know, nothing of the sort.
Several official inquiries into the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of Judith Ward, The Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six, The Maguire Family, Danny MacNamee, the Gibraltar shootings of three IRA members and the cases of John Berry and Hassan Assali, heavily criticised RARDE and Feraday in particular for basic errors and for being rigid and dogmatic in his evidence.
One of the senior judges presiding over the Berry appeal said in 1993 (some 7 years before the Lockerbie trial) that Feraday should not in future be allowed to present himself as an expert in electronics.