Person interviewed: Michael John Smith
Place of interview: Paddington Green Police Station
Date of interview: 11th August 1992
Time commenced: 14:54 Time concluded: 15:21
Other persons present: Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels
Detective Constable Jonathan Peter Say
Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)
Beels: This interview is being tape-recorded. I am Detective Sergeant Stephen Beels, New Scotland Yard, Special Branch. The other officer with me is ...
Say: Jonathan Say, Detective Constable, Special Branch.
Beels: You are Sir ...
Smith: Mr Michael Smith.
Beels: And you are Sir ...
Solicitor: Richard Jefferies, Duty Solicitor, from Tuckers Solicitors.
Beels: We are in Interview Room No. 2 at Paddington Green Police Station. At the end of this interview Iíll give you, Mr Smith, a form explaining your rights of access to a copy of the tape. The date is the 11th August, and the time now by my watch is 2:54 pm. I must caution you Mr Smith, you do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, what you say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?
Smith: Yes I do.
Beels: Do you agree that the tapes were unsealed in your presence?
Smith: Yes I do.
Beels: I understand you had some exercise and some food today?
Smith: Thatís correct.
Beels: Good, Ok. This interview, we wish to discuss in broad terms initially, you know, your finances, how you arrange your finances.
Smith: Well, I think this is an appropriate point to say, that Iíve conferred with my solicitor about the matters we discussed yesterday, concerning a quantity of money, which was found in my flat.
Smith: If you wish me to discuss that, then I will.
Say: Ok. Well, that will, yes, that certainly will come into it. But Iíd like, at the outset of the interview, to just ask you to explain how do you manage your finances, generally. What sort of accounts you keep, and your income, what sort of income you have, and your
expenditure generally. We donít have to be too specific, but Iíd like to know what sort of accounts you do hold.
Smith: I hold a personal account in the NatWest Bank. Obviously, I canít remember numbers here, because I donít have the details. I have a joint account at the NatWest Bank, with my wife. I have an Abbey National Instant Saver Account. In terms of what you wish to know, is that the type of information?
Say: Yes, thatís right.
Smith: I donít believe thereís other places, that I actually have money residing. I have some shares, and the like, but I donít think thatís what you wish to ...
Say: Could we talk about your personal account. Could you, sort of, run through the average month. You get paid, how often?
Smith: Well, Iím not paid now.
Beels: When you were working, until recently.
Say: When you were working.
Smith: I, itís a bit difficult, because the company has changed its payment policy in the last financial year, the start of this financial year. I was paid
until last month, once per month.
Say: And that was about?
Smith: Which was, I think, about the third Wednesday in the month. I canít remember now exactly how itís worked out, thereís a way of calculating it. Previously to this financial year, I am going back sometime, Iíve been paid on what the company regards as a 4, 4, 5 week basis.
Smith: If you are aware of that?
Smith: And the payment time was varied because of that, but again roughly came towards the end of a month.
Say: And if we talk about last year, when you were in employment for the whole year. Is that right?
Smith: Yes, thatís correct.
Say: So weíll talk about í91. How much would that be per month roughly, went into the account from your salary?
Smith: Per month. I canít give you an exact amount, but ...
Smith: Because, I am explaining here, being on a 4, 4, 5 basis, it ...
Say: It varied.
Smith: But if we averaged it out, the average would be approximately, I think, £1,100.
Say: Right, and how would that be spent?
Smith: A certain proportion went into my joint account.
Say: What sort of proportion was that?
Smith: I think it was about £130 a month, I guess, itís of that order.
Say: Of course, yes, obviously I appreciate it will be about. And what did that pay for?
Smith: That paid for all the bills, the mortgage, the sort of things that we paid on a regular basis, like telephone bills, gas, electricity, water rates.
Say: How much was your mortgage?
Smith: The mortgage was approximately the same as my payment, about £130 a month I believe.
Say: And where did the rest of the money go?
Smith: I have a savings scheme with 2 Unit Trust companies, into which I pay £25 per month each, so thatís another £50.
Smith: Then of course thereís ...
Say: That still leaves ...
Smith: Thereís the Poll Tax of course, the Community Charge.
Say: How much is your Poll Tax?
Smith: I think itís approximately £30 per month. Again, I donít have the figures with me.
Say: That still leaves about £800 per month. Where did that go?
Smith: Basically on living. (Laughter)
Say: How did you buy things during the month? Was it by cheque, or was it by cash, or was it a mixture?
Smith: It was a mixture of things. I tended to pay cheque on things that were sent through the post. If I was paying for something, if cheque was appropriate means to payment.
Say: And what happened? Did this £800 go down gradually, to very little by the time the next payment came in?
Smith: Yes, I tried, I tended to spend it or more or less sort of save, or transfer it into my Abbey National account. In recent, in very recent times, I found I had actually accumulated a bit more than I thought in my current account, so I moved it ...
Say: Moved it over?
Smith: Youíll probably see that is reflected in my ...
Say: How did you transfer it to the Abbey National?
Smith: By cheque.
Say: By cheque. Does your wife have a signing mandate. Is she on the Abbey National account?
Smith: No, she doesnít. I mean, she has asked me about this, and I ...
Say: Keep it a secret?
Smith: I have declined, because I think she ...
Say: We are all entitled to our secrets, arenít we. So she doesnít have, she doesnít know about the Abbey National account, or she doesnít know how much is in it?
Smith: She doesnít know exactly how much. Iíve told her approximately how much is in it. I think sheís aware that itís enough to, for the rainy day, and ...
Smith: And in fact, I donít regard it as my money, I regard it as our money. Itís just, I feel I am a better judge of how to spend it than she is.
Say: Right. So, most of the money went on normal living. Some, if it was left over, I suppose, at the end of the month, you transferred it to the Abbey National by cheque. How did you do your shopping, that was by, did you use cash for that, or cheque for that, or ...?
Smith: Iíve used a mixture. I mean, I have paid by cheque. I used to find paying by cheque was a bit of a pain, because the way they administer it at the check-out.
Smith: Iíve paid by credit card, and cash in the past.
Say: Right, and when you get cash, have you got a till card for the cash?
Smith: Yes I do, thatís at the desk I think at the moment.
Say: And you use that all the time, do you, or most of the time, or some of the time?
Smith: Off and on. I mean, some of the time. It depends on how things are going in the month, I mean, sometimes, if Iím, Iíve spent more than I should, well maybe Iíll go to the cash machine, if I donít - I must admit, I do try to not spend money week by week, I prefer to spend it on bigger things.
Say: But, how would you get the cash in your pocket, in you r wallet, for normal every day work. Would that come from a till machine, generally, or would you go into a branch and make a cheque for cash, or something?
Smith: No, I never go in and cash cheques. I think it, I used to a long time ago. I found the service till is by far the easiest way to get cash.
Say: And open all day. So thatís the personal account. The joint account, how does that work, letís, with your wife.
Smith: The joint account is, I canít remember exactly how much she pays in, but itís an equivalent amount to what I do. I pay slightly more than she does, but ...
Say: And this is an agreement, that you both pay an amount per month.
Smith: Thatís correct. I mean, itís to cover the bills, and we have moved it up and down a bit in the past, when mortgage rates changed, and such like.
Smith: I donít pry into her money affairs, so I wouldnít like to say.
Say: Sheís got her own bank account?
Smith: Yes. I mean, then she will have to answer for herself.
Say: Has she got a savings account as well?
Smith: Not at present. She did have a savings account when I first met her, and for some time after we were married, I believe. But, I think she withdrew all the money and dropped it.
Say: The Abbey National account comes next, doesnít it. Abbey National. How much has that got in it,
roughly now, do you know?
Smith: I canít give you an exact figure. Itís approximately £8,400.
Say: And that has all been accumulated by cheque transfers from your current account?
Smith: No, I wouldnít say that.
Say: How did we get £8,000 in there?
Smith: Right. Thereís, Iíve put money in and taken money out over the last couple of years, because of these public company sell-offs. Certain cheques have come back to me, where I didnít obtain the number of shares I was looking for, so thatís been going back ...
Smith: I received some dividends from the shares, which I have tended to put into that account rather than my personal account. Some I put into my personal account, I think, because it was easier at the time. And there have been certain times when Iíve had a bit of cash to put in, where somebodyís given me some money for something.
Say: Sometimes cash, how often did that happen?
Smith: Not very often, Iíd say. If you look back over it, probably.
Say: Talk 90/91? With the last year.
Smith: Well, maybe on one or two occasions only. I canít think that was a regular way I would pay money into that account.
Say: Now, when you were brought into this police station, you had 3 £50 notes in your pocket, didnít you.
Say: Where did they come from? Do you remember?
Smith: Is this an appropriate time for me to Ö?
Say: Maybe. If you want to talk about the £50 notes, please do, yes.
Smith: Yes. Well, £50 notes were paid to me.
Smith: As a payment for some work Iíd done.
Beels: What sort of work?
Smith: Right. Now, this is where I would like to discuss the matter, which has caused me some embarrassment yesterday. And the reason why I was, so evasive, I just wasnít telling you everything I knew.
Smith: Mmm, over the source of that money. That money, Iíve been given for doing certain work for somebody who approached me for documentation, based on the work I was doing at Hirst Research Centre.
Beels: Right. Can you explain a bit more specifically?
Smith: Right. Some, more than 2 years ago, Iíd say this is the early part of 1990. I canít be exact, but it was January or February, about that time. I received a phone call at work, from a man who introduced himself as Harry. I never knew his second name, or even if Harry was his true name. He, the way that the conversation went was not suspicious. I, sometime before that, Iíd approached a company for a book called ĎHow to Become a Millionaireí, which was run, I didnít realise it at the time, that this company used a mailing list system, and I ended up with a lot of junk mail and a lot of phone calls about, ďwould you like to join our pyramid selling organisationĒ, or ďwould you like to invest in stocks and shares with our brokersĒ. All sorts of things started coming back. Now, I have been rung at work before, by somebody who said, ďlook, you, this is a business venture, if youíd like to become involved, and you can make a lot of money very quicklyĒ, and Iíve usually brushed it aside, because it involves me some inconvenience in going up town to waste my time at a session of power selling. So, Iíve always declined it. I used the same approach to this man, but he was very casual and
easy going about it, and said, ďlook, I can meet you in a pub round the cornerĒ, and we arranged to meet. I wasnít keen on it, but I said ďOk, Iíll give you a hearingĒ, because itís not going to inconvenience me. And we visited a pub called the Preston, which is in Preston Road, Wembley, just around the corner from my work. This was after working hours, I think it was the next day, the next day after this phone call. And I arranged to see him. He said heíd be at a table near the door. There werenít many people there, because itís quite quiet after work. And he opened up with a, sort of, general patter about ďwe can offer you an opportunity to make some money, and itís very easyĒ, etc, etc. I didnít, at the time, think there was anything suspicious, the way it started off. But within a short space of time he was saying, ďI know you have a lot of interesting things going on at Hirst Research CentreĒ, and he mentioned the nature of the work, and I said ďyes, yes, there is, but I canít really discuss that with youĒ. And from then on, he became a bit more positive about what he was asking me to do. And at that stage I declined. He wanted me to give him some documentation. Right. Now. This man was not a Russian, Iíve got no reason to believe he was.
Beels: How would you describe him then?
Smith: He was about 50, and rather a stocky sort of guy. Do you want as much of a description as I can give you?
Beels: Yes please, if you can, and as full as you can.
Smith: Receding grey hair, swept back. I think he had brown eyes. I would have said about 5 feet 6 inches, he was shorter than I was, but not, you know, unduly so. He had a, what I would say, not an accent, which I take to mean he came from the South-East of England, maybe London. I donít know if I can remember much more than that. And he was dressed rather smartly, and he had a medium grey suit, with a sort of fleck in it, I think, because he wore this on other occasions.
Beels: Anything else you can remember. Clean shaven?
Smith: Oh yes, no beard or anything. No glasses either.
Beels: No glasses.
Beels: Anything else, any distinguishing features?
Smith: In fact, he had a bit of a dimple in his chin, and I remember, from, thinking he looked a bit like Mick McManus, the wrestler, only a bit older perhaps.
Smith: But, I mean, apart from that, I mean, I did, he never on any occasion gave me any real information about who he was.
Beels: Did he introduce himself as Harry?
Smith: Just Harry.
Beels: No surname?
Smith: I did press him on that point, and he said, ďwell, itís best that we donít discuss thatĒ.
Say: And then what happened?
Smith: Following on from that, I say he made this initial opening to me, and I rejected it because I was concerned at what he was asking me to do. Following on from that, he did phone me again at work, a day or two later, and we had another meeting in this pub the Preston, and I am afraid he persuaded me that what he was offering was a good deal, which was that he would pay me some money in return for some documents. But the point about the documents, the reason I was persuaded Ė I, I was interested in getting some money easily, I think most people would be - but the reason, I think I was persuaded, was because what he seemed to be interested in, I didnít think was particularly something to worry about, and it was documentation on processes and not anything of a classified nature. He said he had a client who was interested in the work there, because
they were doing something similar, and they wanted to know what progress had been made at Hirst, and whether there was anything useful to be learned. I think it was more commercially of interest.
Beels: So what sort of offer did he make you?
Smith: Well, the reason I was attracted to it, was because he said ďlook, I can give you £10,000Ē, and I thought, ďgosh, thatís a lot of moneyĒ.
Smith: But he wasnít prepared to give it to me in one sum. I mean, I think he, would probably be foolish to give me that amount.
Smith: So we arranged that I would give him documentation, on a sort of instalment basis. And he would do likewise with the money.
Beels: Yes, so we are still back in January/February of 1990?
Smith: This was right at the beginning, yes.
Beels: Yes. Right. Ok.
Say: So what sort of money did he give you?
Smith: Mmm. It was a bit puzzling to me, because it was, it wasnít any, it wasnít a regular sum. It, I was trying to think about this before, overnight. I never kept a record, for obvious reasons, and I never really had a clue as to how much Iíd received in total, but the amounts varied between about £2,000 and about £4,000. But they were amounts, because when I counted, they werenít round figures - it was £650, or something - it wasnít something where I could tell this has added up to a certain round figure. I was sure, at the end of it, that I had received more than £10,000, which made me happy. But I wouldnít like to say exactly how much that was - maybe it was twelve - and this money was given to me over a very short period of time, up until, I say a short period, you know, over about a 2 year period up until April this year. At which time we ceased this relationship, because I didnít have anything more to give him, or he seemed to be quite happy that was everything he wanted, and that was the end of it.
Beels: So how often were these meetings, how often did you meet with him?
Smith: It was, he didnít want it to be too regular, because it would make it a bit suspicious. And it was, I think again, I canít, I donít think it was on a very regular basis, approximately every 3 months.
Beels: And how would these meetings be arranged?
Smith: He always arranged it, because he would never give me any contact point. He didnít want me to know any telephone numbers, or anything. So I had to arrange things from the meeting before, and he would always say that, weíd meet on such and such a day, in a certain place, and ...
Beels: In what sort of places did you meet?
Smith: They were always places where there were a reasonable number of people about. He was quite keen on there being a lot of people about. I donít know why, and, do you want me to give you some of the places?
Say: Yes please.
Smith: I think I can remember more or less all of them.
Say: Letís try, shall we.
Smith: Well, one of them was at Sudbury Station. Iím not sure if it was Sudbury Town or Sudbury Hill.
Say: Is it a tube station?
Smith: Yes, a tube station, thereís a parade of shops there. At Greenford Road, I think, itís still part of Greenford Road there, and that was one of the places
we met, I think outside the Post Office.
Beels: Do you remember when this was? Was it early on in this relationship, or later?
Smith: Iím not sure. It was either one of the first, first or second meeting we had was there.
Beels: You went to the Preston first though?
Smith: The Preston.
Beels: Public house, Preston Road, Wembley.
Smith: Thatís right.
Beels: Right. This was after you received a phone call from this chap Harry. And this was the phone call you received at your office?
Smith: At my office, yes.
Beels: Right. And you Ö?
Smith: I, I, I never found out how he got my number ...
Beels: Right. Ok. Weíll come back to that.
Smith: Ö and.
Beels: But you went to the Preston. Do you remember where the next meeting was?
Smith: It was also at the Preston a couple of days later. But the meeting after that, I think was about April, I think it was the first time he gave me any money, it was April in 1990.
Beels: Do you remember how much was given on that occasion?
Smith: I think that was one of the larger amounts. It was either £4,000, or just under £4,000.
Beels: And that was the first payment?
Smith: Yes. I think he was keen on giving me a lot.
Beels: This was to give you an incentive?
Smith: To get me to go, yes. And it gradually got less. I mean, it wasnít, it was less and less at the end.
Beels: And how was the money handed to you?
Smith: It was handed in £50 notes. I mean, it was, I did say to him, ďlook, I donít, I canít handle all these large notesĒ, and he wouldnít listen. He said, ďwell, itís easier for meĒ,
and I couldnít, I mean, I couldnít really argue with that, because if he didnít give me the money, I didnít get it.
Beels: And that was April 90. You received £4,000 in £50 notes. Had you handed over any documentation on that occasion?
Smith: I did. It was, what I gave him was modest amounts. I wouldnít like to say I gave him complete documentation. I, he might have felt that was complete, as far as I was concerned they were drafts and obsolete documents, which were no longer current anyway.
Beels: So, April 90. Weíll move onwards, if you can.
Smith: April 90. Sorry, after that. To be honest, I canít remember all the dates, because itís ...
Beels: Well. You just think back to then, and then just tell me, the ones that you can remember.
Smith: Right. I canít remember if Iíve got the places in the right order, Iím afraid.
Beels: Right. Ok.
Smith: Because it was something I tried to not remember.
Beels: Just tell us some of the places then, that you remember.
Smith: Another place weíd met was in the Harrow shopping area. Not in the covered area, but in an area, I canít remember the name of the road now, itís the paved road, a road that has been paved over, the pedestrian walkway. It was outside one of the shops, I think it might have been a TV hire shop, or, he said heíd wait there.
Say: Were these all the same time of day?
Smith: It was, ah no, thatís a point, they were nearly always lunch time. But the, I do remember the first meeting we had was after work, it was after I left, I was on my way home.
Beels: That was in the Preston?
Smith: No, no, no. After that.
Smith: The first serious meeting was when I was on my way home from work. I suppose it must have been about 6:30 or 7:00 oíclock. And that was the one at Sudbury. Because
it was on my way home from work, and it was convenient for me.
Beels: Right. When would this have been about, roughly what time?
Smith: This would have been about April. I said, 6:30 to 7:00.
Beels: 6:30 or 7:00 in the evening, April 1990.
Say: That was the Harrow shopping area, outside the TV hire shop?
Smith: It was, I think it was a hire shop. I mean, I am not sure. I am not very familiar with shops there, but he had made an arrangement, I think it was outside that. Another occasion was - I am not sure if it was Kingsbury or Kenton - itís near a road called Honeypot Lane. Thereís a, itís a well known traffic circus, and thereís a long parade of shops there. And that was another place we met, one lunch time.
Beels: When would this have been, roughly?
Smith: This was in 1990, as well.
Beels: Still in 1990. Ok.
Smith: South Harrow, another. Thereís a tube station there. Thereís a parade of shops there, I met him. Thereís a bridge over the railway there, the railway goes over the road.
Beels: Well, the tape is coming to an end. Iím going to change tapes, so Iíll switch off the machine now. The time is 3:21 p.m.
Person interviewed: Michael John Smith
Place of interview: Paddington Green Police Station
Date of interview: 11th August 1992
Time commenced: 15:22 Time concluded: 15:47
Other persons present: Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels
Detective Constable Jonathan Peter Say
Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)
Beels: The time is 3:22 pm. This is a continuation of the interview of Mr Michael Smith. Mr Smith, I must remind you that you are still under caution, that you do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but what you say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?
Smith: Yes, I understand.
Beels: Right. Well, let us continue. You were talking about, when we finished the last tape, about South Harrow tube station, I believe?
Smith: Yes, that, that was another place that I met this man.
Beels: A railway, a bridge over the railway?
Beels: That was another occasion?
Smith: Another occasion was at Greenford, the Greenford main shopping area, near Tescoís. I canít remember the name of the road, I mean, itís on the Greenford Road, quite a major junction there. I think that theyíre all the places, er, concerned, but ...
Beels: This was, was Greenford, when you met him at Greenford, em, in 1990 still?
Smith: It, it was probably early 1991 by that, but we did repeat a couple of these places.
Beels: Right. Ok. I understand. Did you repeat all these places?
Smith: No, no.
Beels: Which ones?
Smith: Harrow, we repeated.
Beels: Right. Any, that, thatís at the Harrow shopping centre.
Smith: Yes, and, em, and the South Harrow, and the railway station there.
Say: What happened if Harry didnít turn up at a meeting? How did you arrange the next one?
Smith: He, he always did, he always did. I mean, Iíve, Iíve, I think at that stage I, I wasnít too bothered if he didnít turn up then. Iíd got something out of it, and I hadnít lost, and, er, I, I knew it wouldnít last very long anyway, because I didnít have very much opportunity to give him information.
Say: What sort of information did you give him?
Smith: Well, as far as I was concerned, it, it wasnít current anyway. It was, er, concerning obsolete projects.
Say: Like, for example?
Smith: To do with some of these, er, semi-conductor processing work at Hirst, which has now disappeared anyway. Er, I was surprised he was interested, er.
Say: Did he ask you for specific ...?
Smith: He specifically asked me for, for things like that, and said, em, that he, he must have known quite a lot about the way the company worked, I think. Because, I donít know how he came by my name, em, because it, whether, whether he had tried other people in Hirst before he came to me, I donít know. But he, he certainly seemed to know enough about the company set-up to, to make quite personal questions. He, he knew quite a lot about what the company did, the sort of research theyíd done, I think. Maybe that, he
got some of that from publications that, where the Hirst was mentioned.
Say: So, 3 or 4, every 3 or 4 months for 2 years. He specifically asked you, for specific ...
Say: Ö documents from Hirst. And they were all to do with semi-conductors, were they, or was it Ö?
Smith: There was ...
Say: Ö one of their own, ...
Smith: Ö something, something to do with Ö
Say: Ö another sort of?
Smith: Ö em, with this, em, liquid crystal display work that we do. I, in normal, in most cases, I couldnít give him everything he wanted. He was, er, he wasnít very happy, er, every time, because ...
Say: Was it Harry, throughout the whole 2 years?
Smith: Yes Harry. Just Harry, I mean ...
Say: He didnít introduce you to anybody else?
Smith: No, no.
Say: And he wasnít happy, because you couldnít get ...
Smith: No, well, this is why I felt, em, in a sense lucky to have been chosen, because, er, I thought, well, I could get some money over this, I donít, I know thereís not much I can give him, er. And I think perhaps thatís why he ended the relationship, because I, I had actually not done as well as he expected.
Say: Well. When you said he wasnít happy on one occasion, what did he ask for that time, that you couldnít produce? Do you remember?
Smith: I think he specifically wanted some information on, em, er, the compound semi-conductor work that was going on at Hirst. Itís Gallium Arsenide, itís sort of technology that, em, hasnít really come to fruition yet. Itís not, there doesnít seem to be a great deal of, er, demand for it in this country, to my way of thinking.
Beels: I see, and all this information, is it purely related to commercial technology, or is there a military application, or ...
Smith: I donít believe that any of the documentation I gave him had any classification on it, apart from the company confidentiality.
Say: How did you get it out of the building?
Smith: In my briefcase. Thereís, there was, there was no, em ...
Say: And you handed the actual documents to?
Smith: All photocopies. In fact, I, I, I had a lot of documents in my drawer, which Iíd had for some years, since I started at Hirst.
Say: The drawer at Ö?
Smith: In my filing cabinet. These documents had been given to me, em, when I was working on some of the work that he was interested in. Now, I knew those documents were way out of date, they, they werenít really of any use, er, to current technology. But he seemed quite happy with that, and I, I thought this man doesnít really know what heís about. So, I, in a way, I felt it was money for old rope. I mean, he, the guy didnít really appreciate that sort of thing, you know, the stuff I was giving him.
Beels: So, when did the meetings actually stop. I donít think that I got that clear in my head?
Smith: Well, as I was saying, it was about, em, it was April this, this year.
Beels: It was April this year?
Smith: Yeah, yeah. I, I kept telling him, you know, the, the Hirst Research Centre was folding up, and thatís why Iíd been made redundant. There was so little work going on there, that was of much interest to anybody, and there were fewer, fewer people there, I think he was, em Ö
Say: So when you ...
Smith: Ö probably getting, er, dis-interested.
Say: Ö when you parted company in April, you didnít, as you would normally do, make arrangements for another meeting?
Smith: Thatís right, absolutely.
Say: So, did you make any arrangements?
Smith: We, we mutually agreed, that he, he felt I couldnít give him what he wanted, and, er, I didnít really want to, er, I thought it was a good time to stop.
Beels: So, when you took, did you actually take original documents from Hirst, with you, on occasions?
Smith: In a few cases they were originals, but I would say, probably 90% of the time they were photocopies, that Iíd copied over a period of weeks.
Beels: And were they all from the department, that you specifically worked in?
Smith: Yes. I mean, I, I couldnít, I didnít ...
Beels: Did you manage to gather documents from other Ö
Beels: Ö departments within the Research Centre?
Smith: I, I, no. The point about the way Hirst works is that, em, we, within the Quality Department, had access to a lot of the information, a lot of documentation on certain types of projects, which were mainly about production type work.
Smith: And the real research work, which I think he was more interested in, I donít have access to. I mean, because theyíre all kept in handwritten books, and theyíre, theyíre locked away in the departments, I have no access to that.
Beels: But werenít you able, in your in your role, in your capacity, to go round and, and ask to see them as part of the Ö
Smith: Well, only in a very superficial way, not to actually look at details. It was just to say, well, yes, youíve a book that youíre keeping records in; yes, youíve got documents, er, stapled into them, and youíve got the computer print-outs, and just to see that it was there. I, I donít know if youíve, within the hour or so that I had to do this sort of auditing that I was doing, to, to get a lot of technical content when somebodyís, you know, getting page after page on the, on the table in front of you. How you pick up much information from that is, itís not, itís beyond my ability, I mean Iím not able to pick that much information up.
Beels: Did you ever, on occasion, stay behind after work?
Smith: Well, yes. But a lot of people did. I mean. it was, it was quite normal the way Hirst works, that people tend to come in late and leave late.
Beels: So, when you were staying late, obviously the, the building was not as busy as it would be during the working day. Did you then have access to, perhaps, material that wasnít ...
Beels: Ö normally under your control?
Smith: No. It, it, that wasnít the case. I mean, I could, if I was in another department, em, either the departmentís locked up after everybodyís left, so I couldnít get access anyway, or the, em, people would actually think it is very strange that I would take any interest. Itís, itís not a place that you can just walk in and, er, pick up something off the table.
Beels: But itís the sort of place where you can pick up original documents, put them in a briefcase, and happily walk out the gate.
Smith: Well. Those, as I say, those documents were documents that I had access to in my own personal capacity.
Beels: And would you normally be allowed, I mean, to take them home?
Smith: Well, in cases of being unclassified documents, nobody was particularly worried.
Beels: So, if we went to, to Hirst, and asked them if you were allowed to take your work away, theyíd, theyíd happily say yes.
Smith: I think theyíd be happy for me to be working on things at home, because I know for a fact that, because of the nature of Hirst, and nature of scientific people, that they, that they used to tell me they did some work at home.
Some people stayed late at the office, other people found it more convenient to work at home. I mean, I think, even in, in secret work this happens, you know. I, I occasionally used to hear, over-hear people saying theyíd taken the documents home, at EMI Electronics even, but then, I think, they had clear them out through the gate before they did that.
Say: Did you take anything from EMI Electronics?
Smith: No, not with EMI Electronics. I knew that was, was Ė but at that stage, this sort of thing hadnít arisen.
Say: No. Did you ever give out, give Harry any classified documents? Documents that you know to be classified?
Smith: I donít believe I gave him any classified documents. I was quite careful to, to vet what I was giving him, and make sure that it, it wasnít, em, something that would be either traceable to me, I thought, or something which, em, you know, which was so sort of sensitive, that people would actually know it came.
Beels: You never passed on a documents that were restricted or confidential?
Smith: Well they were, they were company confidential.
Beels: Company confidential?
Smith: Which is, er, as far as Hirst is concerned, is own confidentiality. Itís a commercial matter, not, not a military one.
Say: Did they do military work?
Smith: They did, yes, but, em, it was very restricted, it was, it was only, only a few projects then.
Say: But in the course of the day you would see military documents, as well as this commercial, what you say are commercially driven documents?
Smith: Not normally.
Say: But occasionally?
Smith: Letís say occasionally, yes. But itís not something which I would, em, I wouldnít think that was the sort of thing I would want to be passing on to somebody.
Say: Did Harry ask then?
Smith: No, no, he didnít, actually. I think, what Harry was after, was, em, commercial secrets. I think he was more interested in whether his client was ,and he wouldnít tell me. I, I can understand why. You know, he didnít want any traceability through him, and Iím, Iím fairly convinced in my own mind what he was looking for,
his client was looking for, was how far Hirst had got in certain work. Now, I donít think I gave that to him, because I, I donít think the documentation I gave him would have even been up to date enough, to have, er, given that view.
Say: Did he tell you what to do with the money, not, did he tell you what to do with the money. Did he, he gave you the money in £50 notes?
Say: And what did you do with it from then on?
Smith: Well, this is where I had trouble spending it, and, er, and this is why Iím so embarrassed about this money that was found in my flat, and the reason Iím telling you this now. Because it was extremely difficult for me to, er, dispose of £50 notes, and itís not something I, I was used to. And, as I say, I tried to, er, convince Harry that, can you give them to me in smaller denominations, £10 or £20 notes. The fact he wasnít really interested, and he found it easier to give me £50 notes, I think, it was almost like saying he didnít care what my problems were, em, as long as he got what he was after, and he gave the money. That was, was the end of it as far as he was concerned.
Beels: What did you make of this chap, so called Harry. Did you, what sort of opinion did you form of him, of his role?
Smith: He was a, a very cool, calculating sort of person, not very, not very wordy. It was just all very matter of fact and, as I say, he was just doing a job. I mean, he didnít, er ...
Beels: Well, who did you envisage him to be, in your own mind. You must have been curious?
Smith: Well, I, I, in the beginning, I, I donít think I was too curious. I was suspicious of him, but not curious. And, but well, after meeting him a couple of times, I thought what sort of character is he, and what, what is he thinking.
Beels: And what conclusions did you come to?
Smith: Well, I had the impression that he was like, em, sort of, say in the art world, you know, you hear of these people, who do these art thefts, and theyíve got people who work. He was like a, sort of, em, an agent, a dealer for, for that sort of thing. Like somebody had said, well, you know, we need to get this information, heís the man to do it. Well, itís like he, he was in that sort of business. It seemed all too, er, it was all too smooth, and he seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
Beels: So, when was the last time you actually saw him?
Smith: This was in April this year.
Beels: April? How long were your meetings generally? How long did they last?
Smith: Very short, Iíd say 10 to 15 minutes at the most. He didnít want a lot of talk. I mean, as far as he was concerned, it was just a case of, er, em, can you give me this, that, and the other, and thereís your money. That was it, sort of thing, not very, he wasnít really interested in discussing much more than that.
Say: Appointment for the next meeting.
Smith: Yeah, that sort of thing. Just, just very, it was, it was, em, very straightforward, very matter of fact.
Beels: He didnít make any, or did he, make any contingency plans, in case there was a problem?
Smith: No. I, I found that a bit strange that he didnít. He, he never said, er, anything about that.
Say: Did he ever contact you again on the phone?
Smith: No. Only the, the first 2 occasions.
Say: Did he ever write to you or leave you notes?
Beels: You were never ever left a note by him, directing to, to, to wherever you were going to meet, to a location. It never occurred?
Smith: I might have made some notes, em, for my own benefit, but he never gave me any notes. I scribbled down a date or something, to remind myself. I donít think there was any ...
Beels: So, how often would you write down a note. I mean, do you at every meeting make a habit of writing down the next, details of the next meeting?
Smith: Probably, say, every time I have made a habit of doing that, just to remind myself.
Beels: And where would you write it?
Smith: Usually on a scrap of paper, or something that keep it in my pocket. Because, you know, I didnít think it meant anything to anybody else.
Beels: And then, what would you do with the bit of paper?
Smith: I think, most of the pieces of paper I threw away.
Beels: And what sort of detail would you write down?
Smith: Nothing much. Perhaps just a date, perhaps, em, as far as I was concerned, er, I can remember it. It was simple enough to remember, Harrow on a certain date, you know, so if just put the date, I just, Iíd think yes itís got to be Harry next time. I donít, you know, it wasnít, it wasnít a problem, it wasnít difficult. There was no great scenario of following a certain route or anything, it was just, er, this is a place, and, er, be there at a certain time.
Say: How much did you feel that Harry knew about you. How much?
Smith: I donít know. I donít think he, he didnít seem to know a lot, but I, I knew he must have known something, because he, he seemed to, he, he was too familiar with me.
Say: In what way?
Smith: I canít put any words onto it, but he just seemed to have, and the fact he had chosen me, and the fact he was talking to me, gave me the feeling that somebody had told him, I was the one to contact.
Say: Had you any ...?
Smith: Maybe there were other people in Hirst he had contacted as well. Maybe, the other people have been doing the same thing. I donít know, but ...
Say: Had you met him before that?
Smith: No, no, never before. I, I, he wasnít the sort of character I would have mixed with, anyway.
Beels: When you first met him, when you first spoke to him, either on the phone or when you met him in the Preston public house, did he know, did you get the impression he knew specifically what your role was within GEC Hirst, what your particular line of work was?
Smith: I think he ...
Beels: Or did he have to ask you, and bring that out?
Smith: Well, he, he, he did ask me a little bit, about what opportunities I had for getting some documentation for him. But he seemed to have an idea that I, I had access to a number of projects, rather than that most people just work on the one project, you see, which would have been limiting. He knew that, because of the nature of the quality role, that we had access to more areas.
Beels: Em, I take it then, that if the meetings finished in April of this year, em, there would, you would have destroyed any evidence that, that ...
Beels: Ö that existed of those meetings?
Smith: I, I Ö
Beels: Or any items that you, you intended to, perhaps, to hand on?
Smith: I thought, maybe, maybe you may have found some of those, in, in the course of your enquiry?
Beels: Well, what would you, er, expect us to find, or you suspect we might find?
Smith: Maybe a few scraps of paper with a date, or something, on them. But I ...
Beels: Anything you can remember, in particular?
Smith: No. I, I, I can explain. I mean, what, what worried me was when you, you were saying yesterday, about the money was found with other things, and I, because I didnít want my wife to know about this, er, because she would have obviously told me not to do it, and I thought, well Iím partly doing it for her as well, because we were thinking of moving, and I was in, my car was getting old, and I, I thought. It started off, there was a good, a lot of good reasons why I thought I needed that money, but I didnít really want to worry my wife about it, so I kept all the information that I had, and the money, at work in the filing cabinet. Now, the information I had, I think I,
a lot of it I destroyed before I left Hirst. Anything that I thought was suspicious, I destroyed. I was explaining sometime ago, I know you werenít there, the, em, the panic I was in at the end of the last day I was at Hirst, was such ...
Beels: Which was the Friday?
Smith: The Friday. It was literally minutes before I left there. I, I had to, to collect personal effects, and things, before I left, and that was about the last thing. I thought, well, I mustnít forget to take this 2 grand that I had, obviously I wouldnít forget it, so I bundled that, and a few pieces of paper that, you know, had something like a meeting. I, I just pushed it all into the, in to my suit, em, briefcase and took it with me, and I ...
Beels: The bits of paper, where did you exactly put them, you bundled, what, did you, with the money. But where was, what was the money contained in?
Smith: The money was contained in some, I think they were brown envelopes.
Beels: Right. And the other items of paper?
Smith: Now, this is where I am, I am not clear. I mean, you may say youíve got photographs of how it was contained. But I Ö
Beels: Well, how do you think, how do you recall?
Smith: I recall the, I recall the money, as being in 2 brown bags that were, I think, separate from the other documents.
Beels: Ok. What were the other documents contained in, or were they contained in it, or were they loose?
Smith: I think they were in another envelope. I, I canít be sure.
Beels: And were documents also from GEC included?
Smith: Em, they werenít in that place, no.
Beels: Not in that place.
Beels: But, but you took, you took those documents away from GEC at the same time. I remember you saying, I think it was yesterday, wasnít it, that you, you ...
Smith: Thatís right. At that time, as I was saying. Only, it wasnít all, em, for, for this reason of financial gain. I had professional interests in having some documents, that, some of which Iíd been involved in writing, and I thought thereís nothing wrong in me keeping those for personal use. What I did, em, erroneously do, I think, was to collect a lot of, em, documents on, on some of the work there, which I, I know
I did have a restricted document in amongst those.
Say: What was that of?
Smith: What was ...
Say: What was that restricted document about?
Smith: I, I think it was something to do with this, em, SAW filters.
Smith: Yeah. Which are standing acoustic wave filters. Itís an abbreviation, and, plus some notes Iíve made on audits Iíd done in the recent past, which, most of those notes I, I destroyed. But I found in amongst the bags that, because, I, I, you can ask the security man at the gate, I went and told him about my redundancy as I leaving, I gave him my pass back. I had about 4 plastic bags full of paperwork, that I walked out with, and I, he wasnít suspicious at all. I mean, I thought that was a bit of a, a funny, er, arrangement.
Smith: But I found, when I went through the bags, that there were, were documents I thought, well, I shouldnít really have had these. I, I put them all together in, em, in a shopping bag, and I, I left it in my car. Actually, I, I intended to,
to dump those, or destroy them, to see if there was anything of use to me. I even, I, I kept a few samples of some of the devices that were just laying around my office, they were, I think, non-working devices which have been used before.
Say: What sort of devices?
Smith: Well, one was a SAW filter, because I, I donít know much about SAW filters. I was quite interested in, er, in the way they worked, but, and I think there was a delay line, and some, some of the chips that had, silicon chips that had been ...
Say: Where are they now?
Smith: Well youíve probably got them, but, er, they were, they were in my car.
Say: In your car. Did you ever give samples to Harry?
Smith: No, not at all. He didnít actually ask for them.
Say: He just got documents? Did you ever volunteer to Harry what you could do, what you could get for him ,or was it always, what was easy to get?
Smith: No. It was the other way round, because I, I, I didnít feel I had, em, anything to give in the beginning. Like, you know, he was the one who persuaded me that I could do something for him, and, er, I was surprised actually, you know, that he had confidence in me to find something useful. Because it wasnít something that had entered my mind, until, er, he put this proposition.
Beels: Ok. I donít want to go any further at this stage, em. Iím going to bring this interview to a conclusion, at this stage. Iím concluding this interview. Now, is there anything else you wish to add or clarify, Mr Smith.
Smith: No. Iím, Iím quite happy with what Iíve, Iíve said.
Beels: At the end of this interview I will be asking you to sign the seal on the master tape. Will you do so?
Beels: And thereís a form here explaining your rights of access to the tape. The time now by my watch is 4:47 pm. I beg your pardon 3:47 pm. I am switching off the machine.