Ex­pert tells hear­ing of phone calls by colonel

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - News - ROD MINCHIN news@west­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

THE wife of an Army colonel ac­cused of claim­ing nearly £100,000 in al­lowances to send his chil­dren to one of the lead­ing pub­lic schools in the West spent more time at her fam­ily home than in mil­i­tary ac­com­mo­da­tion, a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert told a court mar­tial yes­ter­day.

Peter Brown an­a­lysed the out­go­ing data of the mo­bile phones of Colonel Roddy Lee and his wife Juliet to see whether they were near their home in De­vizes, Wilt­shire, or close to RAF Odi­ham in Hamp­shire when the de­vices were used.

Mr Brown said the most reg­u­lar lo­ca­tion for Colonel Lee’s de­vice to con­nect with a phone mast was in the De­vizes area, with 16 per cent of data, while a mast near the RAF base was sec­ond with 13 per cent. Mean­while, an ex­am­i­na­tion of ju­nior doc­tor Mrs Lee’s phone showed that 31 per cent of out­go­ing voice and text mes­sages were made in the De­vizes area.

The sec­ond most pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion was in the Sal­is­bury area, where she worked, with 6 per cent. The RAF Odi­ham area was 3.5 per cent.

“We don’t know from the data records who had the phone and nei­ther does it tell us the pre­cise lo­ca­tion where the phone was,” Mr Brown told the court mar­tial in Bul­ford, Wilt­shire.

“All we can say is that it was in the area of a cell site which may be in the vicin­ity of an ad­dress.”

The court heard the com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany that pro­duced the in­for­ma­tion about Colonel Lee’s phone did not sup­ply any GPRS data – logged when the de­vice con­nects to the in­ter­net – or de­tails of in­com­ing calls.

Mr Brown ex­plained he also at­tempted to plot the lo­ca­tions of where the last piece of data each day was made and the first of the fol­low­ing day – to try to guess where Colonel Lee may have slept overnight.

“With the lim­ited num­ber of calls avail­able for ex­am­i­na­tion it struck me that, in my opin­ion, it was fairly evenly bal­anced in be­tween De­vizes and Odi­ham in the over­all pe­riod,” he said.

Hav­ing done the same anal­y­sis for Mrs Lee, the ex­pert said: “I think I added it up cor­rectly there were 93 days and nights at the West Lav­ing­ton site and 15 oc­ca­sions when it was in Odi­ham.”

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Mr Brown ac­cepted that with­out the in­com­ing call data there was an “in­com­plete pic­ture”.

“It lim­its, per­haps, con­clu­sions that one might draw,” he said.

He also said that if the phone was switched off it would not gen­er­ate any data.

“I have as­sumed if the phone was there in the evening it prob­a­bly stayed overnight and was there in the morn­ing. It is an as­sump­tion,” he said.

Fiona Ed­ing­ton, rep­re­sent­ing Colonel Lee, asked Mr Brown whether he had made a dis­tinc­tion in his re­port be­tween Colonel Lee be­ing at RAF Odi­ham dur­ing the week and at De­vizes at week­ends.

“I have not dif­fer­en­ti­ated be­tween the work­ing day and the week­end,” he said.

Miss Ed­ing­ton asked: “Is it fair to say that the ab­sence of in­com­ing call data and the lan­d­line data means the con­clu­sions are lim­ited?”

Mr Brown replied: “They are lim­ited to the data we have.”

To re­ceive the Army’s con­ti­nu­ity of ed­u­ca­tion al­lowance Mrs Lee had to live with her hus­band in his ser­vice ac­com­mo­da­tion but pros­e­cu­tors al­lege she in fact lived at their Wilt­shire prop­erty.

Dur­ing the aca­demic year 2015/16, Colonel Lee claimed £98,306.80 in fees to send his two el­der chil­dren to Marl­bor­ough Col­lege and his two youngest chil­dren to prep schools in Wilt­shire and Dorset. The al­lowance en­ables ser­vice per­son­nel to send their chil­dren to board­ing school to pre­vent dis­rup­tion to school­ing caused by post­ings around the UK and abroad.

Colonel Lee, for­merly of the Royal Ar­tillery, de­nies three charges of fraud al­leged to have oc­curred be­tween May 2015 and Oc­to­ber 2016.

Colonel Roddy Lee

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.