The pre trial resumed on the 13 August’13 with Joseph continuing giving his evidence.
The full transcript of the hearing is available.
The first section covered relates to the claimed discovery of the remains of the printer under the beam in the library, it is a very confusing set of replies by Joseph to cross examination.
I include a galleries of the images referred to in the transcript.
Joseph is caught out, he was shown the images above which clearly show the space under the beam isn’t filled with a pile of debris!
All he can say is ‘Well the debris is there.’ when clearly it isn’t, even when you view the space under the beam from both sides. The Judge clearly hadn’t followed this at all!
Joseph had stated that he found the printer around 0.5m into the library and IMG_4392 confirms this as accurate, the remains of the wall frame at western end of library is visible. IMG_1332 however shows the beam and the wall frame on 15 September, the shovel is a a good guide to scale, the beam touches the debris maybe the length of ‘2 shovels’ (about 2.5m) away from the wall frame.
The pile of debris with the printer on top was not present on IMG_1332 or any other image prior to those taken by Joseph on or after 8 November’11 such as IMG_3617
Joseph was trying to cover up the fact that he and Fletcher had introduced the printer remains to the fire scene, stupidly dropping it on a pile of debris that Joseph had created clearing the debris in the Library on 8 November’11.
His attempt to cover up a serious illegal act by misleading the Court in this way should have been easily picked up by the Judge but, apart from the final question above, no comment was made.
The rocks are clearly seen in the images as being ON TOP of all the debris, the pieces of fallen cement ceiling and the glass. This strata structure reflects the order that the debris, ceiling, glass and rocks arrived on the balcony.
To IAG this was a major problem, it showed that persons were at the fire scene throwing rocks, breaking glass AFTER the fire had started.
Joseph however had no problems, he just told barefaced lies to the Court! Misleading is the politically correct word but Joseph, giving this testimony was deliberate lying to mislead the Court.
He repeatedly claims the rocks were ‘among‘ debris and glass rather than on top of it. The image of the second rock shows a piece of aluminium window frame debris curling UNDER the rock!
The Fire Service were struggling, short of water, they drained the swimming pool and the two water tanks but it was wildly inadequate. By the time they got a larger volume from the lake, in the next door property, the house was almost totally destroyed, they didn’t have water to waste on areas that were not on fire!
There is minimal heat damage to the balcony but no sign of a blaze, the cool night breeze preventing it from reaching combustion point. Close examination of the images show there are large pieces of soot stained, but DRY, ‘Pink Batts’ fibreglass insulation on the balcony below the ceiling pieces, glass and rocks. This material collapses rapidly when wet.
Water also would have washed debris off the balcony leaving visible flow marks but none are visible.
Joseph is actually suggesting that balcony supports his ‘Staged’ scene theory but if you consider this, it is bizarre!
If the balcony was staged, the rocks used to smash the balcony glass before Chris left the scene, how did water from hoses leave what was found?
To achieve that result, the water would be required to lift 100% of the glass and the three rocks up and slip the fire debris and the ceiling pieces under them without wetting the fibreglass insulation or causing any run off!
Joseph and IAG fully realised that this evidence cleared Chris since it proved the existence of the intruders.
Jewellery and Photographs
At the first part of the pre trial recorded on the Pre trial page, Joseph had made these statements,
The disclosed images however told a different story,
Now, with his photographs disclosed he admits that he did find jewelley boxes in the bedside cabinets, they were empty, almost certainly the contents removed by the intruders since the Robinson’s do not have them. The photographs were normally displayed in antique silver frames standing on the small dressing table next to the window out onto the balcony.
Antique frames were meant for paintings and photographs do not fit perfectly so air and dirt seeps in around the edges and the marks left due to this on them are clearly visible in Joseph’s images. Naturally he wasn’t willing to admit that valuable items had been removed from the property by the intruders. A thief, given ample time, would naturally remove the images since they track the source of the frames back to the origin.
The images show some very personally valuable items to Alison in the cabinet, the box I understand contained a worthless little rock, it was from a beach at Coniston water when she had been bouncing stones on the water with her grandmother days before her death. It was one of Alison’s most precious belongings well known to Chris.
The Dairy Box of chocolates contained cards from the children as they had grown up, ultrasound images from before they were born and all manner of sentimental items belong to Chris and Alison, the idea they wouldn’t have saved these irreplaceable items if they were going to destroy the property is untenable.
Equally upsetting to them is that the items actually survived and Joseph, had the chance to return them during his investigation and even ask about them but they were apparently left in situ and destroyed when the remains of the property was removed in the days prior to Chris’s arrest.
The pre trial proved conclusively that Joseph and Jorgensen were consummate liars with no respect for the Laws or Courts of New Zealand.
One must question how they are allowed to mislead the Court so blatantly with no reaction for the presiding Judge, it appears they may have some sort of immunity but that is hard to accept.
The result of the pre trial was incredible, Judge McDonald issued a reserved judgment on 28 January 2014.
All the evidence of the expert witnesses and the demonstration were deemed to be admissible in their entirety.
That verdict was appealed and the result of that appeal would eventually lead to Chris being acquitted of the Arson charges but a great deal of time had passed by then and the DELAY part of the DELAY, DENY, DEFEND system had allowed IAG with ASB to force Chris and Alison into bankruptcy.