24 February 2006

CV of Professor Meirion Francis Lewis, CBE, FInstP, etc

At the trial of Sally Clark, prosecution witness Professor Sir Roy Meadow drifted from his expertise in paediatrics and over into the field of statistics, when he erroneously claimed there was a one in 73 million probability of 2 cot deaths in a family. Sir Roy was severely criticised for giving evidence in a field for which he was not an expert.

It was a similar situation at my trial, when Professor Meirion Francis Lewis drifted from his acknowledged expertise in the field of bulk acoustic wave and surface acoustic wave devices, and into the areas of missile technology, jamming, and the Gulf War. It is quite worrying that the judge, Mr Justice Blofeld, did not question Professor Lewis’s competence to give such evidence, in fields for which he was apparently not qualified. I would be interested to hear from anybody who knows Professor Lewis, and who could tell me just how much he does know about missile technology, jamming, or the Gulf War.

I cannot go into the full curriculum vitae of Professor Lewis or his capabilities as an expert, however, he clearly is an expert in the fields in which he works, and I have no wish to undermine his reputation in those fields. Before my trial the Professor listed his achievements at Oxford University, with a first degree in Physics (1960) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (1960-64), during which he studied microwave frequency ultrasonics. In 1964 he joined GEC Hirst Research Centre (Wembley), and he led a group dealing with bulk acoustic wave and surface acoustic wave devices, as well as being involved with various other solid state devices.

In 1972 Professor Lewis joined the Royal Radar Establishment at Malvern, where he continued his work on surface acoustic wave devices, and he was in charge of research into SAW devices at RSRE between 1977 and 1985. In 1985 Professor Lewis moved on to optical signal processing and he became responsible for the optical signal processing section at DRA Malvern (later to become DERA). Professor Lewis has published well over 100 scientific papers, of which at least half have been on acoustic wave devices.

Professor Lewis’s other credentials are his Fellowship of the Institute of physics, and his award of the CBE.

Clearly, Professor Lewis’s main expertise is in bulk and surface acoustic wave devices, and that was apparently the reason he was consulted as a prosecution witness to give evidence at my trial. This is why I find it quite astonishing that the most important evidence given by Professor Lewis was on questions concerning details of missile technology, the electronics of such missiles, the methods used to jam missiles, the ALARM missile in particular and its method of deployment, and the use of ALARM during the Gulf War of 1991.

My defence counsel, Mr Rock Tansey QC, specifically asked Professor Lewis if he was an expert in missile technology, and Professor Lewis accepted that he was not an expert in this field, although he learned a few things from missiles experts in the lab where he worked.

Mr Tansey also asked Professor Lewis if he was an expert on the jamming of airborne guided weapons, and again Lewis accepted he was not, or at least he did “not spend a lot of time on it”

It was also surprising that, despite Professor Lewis’s claims to be an expert on the design and manufacture of bulk acoustic wave (BAW) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices, he admitted he was not familiar with all the details of their manufacturing processes. Professor Lewis was called as an expert witness to comment on the manufacturing documents that were exhibits in my case, and so it would have been more appropriate for the prosecution to have called a witness from Hirst Research Centre, who would have been more familiar with those manufacturing processes. Professor Lewis may have been an expert on the theory and research into such devices, but he was obviously not “on the ball” when it came to the manufacturing details.

It was also significant that Professor Lewis was the only prosecution witness called to give the most significant evidence about the one “restricted” classification document involved in my case, rather than somebody from the Marconi organisation where the document originated. After all, there were 16 Marconi employees listed on the circulation for that document, all of whom should have been more familiar with the document than Professor Lewis, but not one of them appears to have been consulted about what project the document was used on.

According to Professor Lewis, he was able to deduce - from his own powers of reasoning - that this “restricted” document was linked to the UK’s ALARM missile project. I find it unbelievable that he would have access to details of the ALARM project, as security clearance should have prevented him from becoming intimately involved with that project himself - there is a “need to know” principle commonly applied to all staff. Considering Professor Lewis’s admitted lack of expertise in the fields of missile technology and jamming, I was quite astounded that he was able to tell the court, in an ad hoc fashion, about how that missile functioned and its vulnerability to jamming. Where did that expert evidence come from, and was it correct?

If it was wrong for Professor Sir Roy Meadow to have given evidence outside of his field of expertise, then it must equally have been wrong for Professor Meirion Francis Lewis to have done a similar thing at my trial. I do not believe Professor Lewis was an expert in missile technology, jamming, the ALARM missile, or the Gulf War. If he was such an expert, then why were his credentials for giving evidence in those fields not put before the court?

The conclusion must be drawn that, if the prosecution had called experts in the fields relevant to the “restricted” document, then the evidence would have been significantly different from that given by Professor Lewis. I am still waiting to hear the truth about that “restricted” document - whether it was linked to the ALARM missile - and what information it contained that could be useful to an enemy. It seems the MoD are frightened to give these answers.