"The Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to rely on Jessica Rees as a prosecution witness in current or future cases."
Frontline Scotland reported the damning verdict of a lip reading expert on a crucial part of the police investigation.
The investigation was boosted when forensic lip reader Jessica Rees produced an incriminating report from CCTV footage of a conversation between Nat Fraser and his friend Glenn Lucas during a prison visit.
At that time, two years after Arlene had disappeared, her husband was in jail for defrauding legal aid.
Jessica Rees' report convinced Grampian Police that the men had been discussing the murder of Arlene Fraser.
It was this evidence that led to Nat Fraser being charged with murder, according to Detective Superintendent Jim Stephen, Grampian Police's senior investigating officer on the case.
Other lip reading experts, including Terry Ruane, studied the tape.
He told Frontline Scotland that when he checked the report he could not match any of the key words which Jessica Rees had put in her report.
The defence were ready with an attempt to discredit the lip reading evidence if it was called in court.
Jessica Rees has been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service in England after allegations she had misled people about her university qualifications.
Hector Dick could now be charged with perjury for lying during the murder trial.
Imagine you know someone who’s in trouble.
You go to see them but without your knowledge, you're being filmed.
Then you end up in jail yourself, facing serious criminal charges.
Can’t happen very often, can it?
You’d be surprised.
We’ve found three cases where that’s exactly what happened.
And they’ve all got something in common – lip reading evidence.http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/yorkslincs/series11/week3_lip_reading_crime.shtml
For more than ten years, Jessica Rees has been the country’s leading expert lipreader – but the accuracy of the evidence in three of her cases is under dispute.
|Glenn Lucas - accused in a lip-reading case|
We can’t show you her face, because she’s a protected witness.
Back in 2006, we told how Glenn Lucas, from Lincolnshire, was charged with conspiracy.
After he was filmed visiting a friend in prison, Jessica Rees claimed they’d been talking about disposing of a body.
Eventually, all charges against Glenn were dropped but, back with his wife and family, he was still fighting to clear his name.
We’ve found disturbing new evidence about two other cases involving lipreading evidence.
In June 2005, The Crown Prosecution Service dropped Jessica Rees, one of its star expert witnesses after years of involvement in many criminal trials.
She transcribes conversations captured on silent CCTV or surveillance tapes, working both for defence and prosecution lawyers.
Her evidence has been vital in putting people behind bars AND acquitting the innocent.
Ms Rees says she has been involved in over 700 cases and has lip-read more than 1,000 tapes.
Her credibility was challenged in a case at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
A defence barrister Edward Henry accused her of misleading the court in her CV, which, he argued, suggested she had a degree from Balliol College, Oxford.
Profoundly deaf Jessica Rees has been involved in more than 700 criminal trials using forensic lip reading techniques to analyse silent CCTV or police tapes, BBC2's Newsnight programme revealed. She has worked both for defence and prosecution lawyers.
Following a review of her role as an expert witness in prosecution cases, a CPS spokeswoman said: "The CPS has decided not to rely on Jessica Rees as a prosecution witness in current or future cases.
"As a precaution, the Crown Prosecution Service is contacting defendants or their representatives in those cases where Jessica Rees gave evidence for the prosecution and which resulted in a conviction.
"They will be provided with a disclosure package to enable them to advise their clients."
Ms Rees' credibility was challenged in a case at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London last year.
Defence barrister Edward Henry accused her of misleading the court in a CV which suggested she had a degree from Balliol College, Oxford. Ms Rees readily accepted she had not completed her degree and said her CV was meant to show only that she had finished the first two years of the course.