July 19, 2008

‘Bends’ Reports Found on Computer

A police computer expert has been giving evidence at the trial of four men alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to defraud the NHS.

DC David Hodge told Plymouth Crown Court a PC and laptop computer were seized by police investigating an alleged fraud by Fort Hyperbaric, a company based at Fort Bovisand, Plymouth.

He said information was copied from the computers' hard drives onto discs for him to analyse.

This was better than working with the original hard-drives, he said, because in theory even hidden and deleted files could be examined.

Various documents from the computers had been 'bookmarked' for him, and DC Hodge said he examined 42 documents at the end of October 2005, with decompression treatment incident report details being matched with invoices to the NHS.

David Welsh, 50, of Plymstock, his brother Raymond Welsh, 47, of Harlow, Essex, and diving instructor Michael Brass, 43, from Liverpool, are on trial for allegedly defrauding the NHS of pounds250,000 by falsely claiming to have treated divers at Fort Bovisand for decompression sickness.

David Welsh, Brass and James Chandler, 43, also from Liverpool, have also denied conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between July 10 and October 2, 2002.

The trial continues.

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