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Case studies: Expert witness

Where there's smoke
In December 2007, the tenant of a property in south east London was charged with arson following a fire in her loft. The charge relied heavily on the witness statement made by the fire investigator who had attended the scene of the alleged crime. However, an in-depth investigation conducted by ASK at the request of the defendant’s solicitors, Macauley Smith & Co, found strong evidence to refute the theory laid out in the prosecution case. [Read more]

Military rockets: health warning
The Northumberland National Park is home to many rare species of animal, as well as 2,000 people. Much of it is owned by the Ministry of Defence, whose activities are carefully monitored by locals. In 1997, one resident gathered evidence suggesting that planned military training in the area was about to cause considerable damage to health and local wildlife. ASK refuted much of this claim at a public inquiry, but endorsed one aspect. [Read more]

Antiseptic chocolate
In 1993, the owners of a cocoa and chocolate factory in Hull were concerned that chemicals from a planned hazardous waste site might contaminate their products. A public inquiry ensued. ASK used mathematical modelling to demonstrate that substantial risks were posed by the new site, giving the Council grounds to dismiss the waste company's appeal. [Read more]

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