Claims Denied

On 3 May 2012, Andrew Hooker received an email from IAG’s lawyer, Chris Hlavac declining the insurance claims.

The full letter, in PDF format, is linked off the above image that shows the important section of the letter.

It was immediately apparent that a massive change regarding the remote ignition system had taken place, there is no reference to ‘Hacking’ here and the printer wasn’t the source of the fire, it was a ‘trigger’ to another ignition device.

No mention of the discovery of any items relating to an ignition device had been made at the Police interview and had any been found the explanation given at the interview wouldn’t have been needed.

DENY – whilst the DELAY stage of the DELAY, DENY, DEFEND system was still running IAG now added DENY.

A few weeks later Chris had to appear at the Kaikohe District Court, immediately IAG’s campaign against him kicked into gear. The Crown barrister, in his introductory address to the Court, stated that the defendant had removed valuable items, saddles, a chainsaw and a basket containing silver cutlery and expensive china to a friends house. Clearly, the implication being that Chris was saving them from the fire he was going to cause in his plan to get an insurance pay out from IAG.

This was a utter deception, the items from the surviving barn had been taken to Sue McGregor’s home to protect them from theft on the 11th September’11 the next day after the defendant returned from Hamilton after the fire.

The picnic basket with silver plated cutlery and nice, but not expensive china, had been bought in England years earlier, they were common items for people interested in horses as the Insured were. These were often used at horse events in the back of your estate car or 4 x 4. A similar one is shown below, the defendants had taken it on their trip to Hamilton to allow the family to picnic in their usual style during the trip. Very British but not the pointer to the Arson pushed by IAG.

A very British picnic basket.

The problem really was that the defence had no way to discount this evidence for many months, they had received no prior warning and the Crown did not introduce any evidence to support it. Maurice Fletcher had interviewed Sue McGregor who had correctly stated the date the items had arrived along with two horses and a float full of horse tack from the barn. The Crown ignored the date she had stated and the effect of this evidence was to immediately bias the Judge against Chris Robinson.

Most of the missing Disclosure documents had not been found at this point but shortly after this hearing more began to trickle in. Chris was told to collect a box of Disclosure from Thames Police station but was disappointed to find very little useful information, the investigators reports and interview DVD’s were still missing. It was June’12 before a box containing these arrived.

The reports were all photocopies, the images they contained of very poor quality but the content had been clearly edited.

The Fire Investigation report dated 4 Oct 2011 by Russell Joseph is downloadable from this link.

There are several serious issues revealed by this report, basically it is a pack of lies from start to finish. I only point out the most critical where I have expanded the issue with the supporting evidence in this Case Study.

Section 5.6.3 records the broken glass on the bedroom balcony was mostly ‘located on the balcony itself. ‘
Section 5.6.4 records that ‘three large rocks were located on the balcony.’
Section 6.5.2 records that the back ‘door leading to the balcony was in the unlocked position.’
Section 6.5.3 records that he found a ‘liquid pour pattern’ on the stairs.
Section 6.5.4 records that he found a ‘localised burn pattern consistent with the pooling of a liquid accelerant.’
Section 6.8.16 refers to their ‘Second examination’ which took place on 8 November’11, but this report was dated 4 October’11

The Determination
Sections 7.2, 7.4 and 7.20 all refer to the presence of accelerants.
Section 7.12 records a ‘Probable attack on the property’ and discounts it since no property had been taken.
Section 7.20 states the ‘building has been penetrated.’ It goes on to state ‘the appearance of being a staged fire . . ‘
Section 7.21 contains the only mention of ‘the origin or cause of the fire.’

This report had clearly been edited long after the 4 October date it bore. Most importantly it accepts that the building had been penetrated and confirms that the origin and cause of the fire had not been established.

The references to accelerants are mythical, there was only one forensic test done for the presence of accelerant and it produced a negative result. The pooling and trailing evidence is easily seen to have been fabricated by Russell Joseph on 8 November’11.

The stated fact that no property had been taken is unsupportable when 95% of the property had been totally destroyed and no trace of the real valuables had been found in the debris. Why would intruders take a large TV bolted to the wall and an old PC when the house was full of easy to remove antiques, silver and jewellery?

As stated earlier, it would have been totally impossible to stage this fire scene, the suggestion is just wishful thinking rather than fact.

Whilst the report states that constant contact was maintained with the Police, no mention is made of the beer bottles containing petrol and the cigarette butts containing two persons DNA found by DS Bindon on 10 September’11

The Fire Investigation report dated 21 December’11 by Russell Joseph
Again most of this report is based on fiction rather than fact.

The Fire Investigation report dated 24 January’12 by Martin Jorgensen

This report does not include the words, ‘hack’, ‘hacked’ or ‘hacking’

It details the ‘TRIGGER’ based Remote Ignition system with images of the recreation of the system. This is a totally different Remote Ignition system to that detailed in the Police interview.

It is based on a Primary school electricity experiment, a switch working a light bulb! As basic as can be, a battery a couple of bits of wire, a simple switch and a lightbulb!

In this suggested system, the switch is remotely operated by a piece of string! This is taped onto the paper in the printer paper feed and the other end tied to the circuit switch. The idea being that a print command is remotely issued to the printer which pulls the paper ready to print and this operates the circuit switch to light the bulb or in this case heat a bit of wire and set fire to whatever fuel was provided.

Jorgensen claims he found references to the required items in the deleted search history on the PC but cannot put a time scale on when those searches actually took place and a 12V battery is hardly an unusual item to search for.

Why anybody could ever believe this is credible is beyond belief!

The searches were found in the deleted section, the deletion of the old history is automatic in Windows since the size of the history file is defined by the user or system and the oldest history items are deleted to keep the history file below the defined size limit. The PC had multiple hard drives and ample space for a very large, and therefore a long time scan, history file size limit.

None of the items were actually found in the debris and there is no connection between an item being searched for at some time in the past and the ownership of the item at all.

The switch seen in the images, however, is far more interesting, it is not the ‘Simple on/off switch claimed here! The images show a specialised switch, called a MICROSWITCH, was required to make the system work.

The problem being that the string could only supply a minute force before pulling off the paper rendering the device totally ineffective.

A microswitch on sale in UK from a specialist electronics supplier.

Jorgensen found no record of a search for a microswitch and no retailer in Northland stocked them as far as I have been able to ascertain.

Consider the situation, according to the IAG investigators, Chris has set the house up ready to ignite remotely from Hamilton. The library was the planned origin and this device was set up. Accelerants were poured around to insure a good blaze, windows smashed, rocks around the house and the back door left unlocked.

There was no chance that the decision to commit arson could be reversed at that point so why did he not just plug a simple and totally reliable timer switch into the wall with an electrical heater in the socket loaded with accelerant soaked paper or other inflammable material?

That would have been 100% reliable, simple to do with little left to find after the fire rather than a stupid system like this. What would have happened if the solvent vapour from the accelerants caused the tape to release the string or the paper just jammed due to the tension of the string, before it reached the position that triggered the switch? Driving home to a wrecked but unburnt house, all set up to burn, would have been very difficult to explain!

The real issue from IAG’s point of view was that Chris was 400Km away and a timer switch could have been claimed to have been set up by the intruders to give them 10 minutes to clear the building, IAG needed a definite link to Chris.

Remote ignition had been selected following the HP fire publicity and they were stuck with it, but they couldn’t just stick to the hacking system because HP had published details stating you couldn’t hack or make an ink jet printer into an ignition device exactly as pointed out by Chris to DC Dawson at the Police interview.

The fourth and final report disclosed was:-

Computer Forensics Report by Martin Jorgensen dated 15 May’12

This is the only COMPUTER FORENSICS REPORT disclosed, note the date of the report, 15 May’12, a month AFTER the Police interview where DC Dawson constantly referred to a Computer Forensics Report by Martin Jorgensen.

The disclosed report has been written to support the ‘TRIGGER’ theory of remote ignition that was not the system detailed at the Police interview, the earlier report has vanished totally.

The evidence in this report has no historical basis, the original evidence that caused the arrest of Chris for arson related to hacking the printer, the printer then bursting into flames and causing the fire.

That was a totally different scenario to that in this report.

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