Sunday, 6 February 2011

The 10.07 time on the 18th July (2)

To make sense of this post it is worth reading not just my preceding post but this one also  They are lengthy and detailed and might need more than one perusal to take in the information; it is a complicated old business and of course the Hutton Inquiry muddies the water even more. 

In my last post I came to the conclusion that the ambulance crew just had PCs Franklin and Sawyer for company when they examined Dr Kelly's body and declared life was extinct.  At this time I believe that DC Coe was at least 70 metres away down on the track that adjoins the eastern side of Harrowdown Hill Wood.  From the evidence at the Inquiry we have both PC Franklin and DC Coe declaring that the paramedics were confirming at 10.07 the fact of death.  But the problem is that whilst Franklin was with the ambulance crew DC Coe wasn't!  So why did DC Coe have that time in his notebook?

Dave Bartlett is asked about the time that he and Vanessa Hunt arrived with the ambulance:

Q. Can you remember when you arrived at the place you were going to? 
A. The time?
Q. Yes, the time. 
A. 9.55.

I'm making an assumption that there is a log book with the ambulance and that the time that the vehicle arrives at an incident is noted - maybe there is some sort of tachograph that does it.  Even with the Patient Report Form going missing (see my last post) the 9.55 time is available for Dave Bartlett to check.  The paramedics are logged out of the outer cordon at 10.26 according to an FOI request I made (see this post  So it can be seen that the paramedics had 31 minutes to scoot up the track, go into the wood , check Dr Kelly's body for life and get back down the lane and logged out of the cordon.

If we believe what is said by PC Franklin and DC Coe then the trip up the track and everything that the paramedics did took 12 minutes and that this then would have left a generous 19 minutes for the walk back down and through the outer cordon.  Those two figures reversed would make much more sense I feel.  The track itself up to the point they would have entered the wood is I reckon half a mile long.  If, as I believe, DC Coe was standing on the track with PC Franklin and PC Sawyer and it was two other police that led the paramedics up the track then the time at which the paramedics reach DC Coe's position might very well be 10.07.  From this point the paramedics go into the wood with the two policemen putting in metal poles as they go.  Arriving at the scene PC Sawyer takes a number of photographs and snaps a few more when Dr Kelly's shirt is undone.  All the time the clock is ticking away and it wouldn't surprise me if death isn't confirmed until say 10.12 to 10.14.  Certainly I don't believe the time of 10.07 given in evidence is tenable.

This now leaves 10 minutes or a little more to pack up and return down the path to the outer cordon and the ambulance.  The timeline I'm imagining here makes a lot more sense to me.  Both PC Franklin and DC Coe I think would have jotted down the time that the paramedics reached them (10.07).  DC Coe starts replying to Mr Knox as if the question is about the arrival of the paramedics at the top of the track and hurriedly has to revise this to the time death is confirmed.  As for DC Franklin it might be something as simple as forgetting to note the time the paramedics said life was extinct, when it came to the Inquiry he just had that single time of 10.07 in his notebook and quoted that.

One final point is this interesting interjection by Lord Hutton in the middle of PC Franklin's testimony:

LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you: how long were you at the scene before the paramedics arrived?
A. Less than two minutes.
LORD HUTTON: Less than two minutes. I see. Thank you.

It is now clear in our minds isn't it that the two paramedics were never more than two minutes behind the two PCs from the moment they arrived at Harrowdown Hill.  You might believe that of course but I don't.


  1. Brian

    One can of course read into the last exchange that the policement spent two minutes at the body the first time.
    It depends which scene the scene is.

    the place you were going to is another vague construct which crops up in asking Mrs Kelly about when she and Dr Kelly arrived in Cornwall. The law is normally very precise,but not here of course.One assumes that this is where the ambulance was parked at the end of the tarmac.

    I also like Vanessa Hunt's description of the police already there..
    just lots and there was police vehicles there as well. Quite a busy scene already.

  2. Felix, yes the lack of precision in recording evidence is a constant theme running through the Inquiry. Because Lord Hutton makes his interjection at the time PC Franklin is talking about the paramedics declaring life extinct the assumption in ones mind would be that the scene described is that at Harrowdown Hill at about 10.07.

    However that is an assumption only and the evidence should be absolutely specific as you are implying.

    The ambulance would presumably have parked as close to the end of the tarmac as was practical. It would be interesting to know how many vehicles were already there at that time - the car owned by Louise Holmes, the police land rover for sure and maybe Sergeant Dadd's car if he came separately.

    I've read that DC Coe said that he parked his unmarked car in Longworth, presumably he and his companions had walked up from there.

  3. The evidence of Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman ties in with Brian’s theory, they both say that by the time they got back to where their car was parked more police had started to arrive (Franklin, Sawyer and co presumably). No mention of an ambulance though.

    Paul Chapman has the walk from the body to the car park at about 10 minutes.

    I'd be interested to know if Sawyer took photos of the body when he first visited it and if the left wrist was pointing upwards with the wound visible, as the ambulance crew described.

    Or did he only start take photos when the ambulance crew arrive. Both Franklin and Sawyer describe the wound as not being visible and the wrist facing downwards.

    I now believe the body was moved several times because there is clear evidence; Sat against a tree, flat on the ground, wrist facing down, wrist facing up, scabs repeatedly picked from the wound to ensure continued bleeding, wound not visible because dried blood had formed over it.

    There is plenty of evidence that there was 3rd party involvement at the scene, that the body was moved and fresh blood forced from the wound to reconcile the new position of the body with blood pools.

    The people that are responsible for this cover up are as guilty of serious crime as the people who murdered Dr Kelly. And I am now becoming inclined to put Dominic Grieve into that category.

  4. LL - it would indeed be interesting to know if PC Sawyer took other photos of the body (if he did make an earlier visit before the paramedics arrived). You might be interested in reading my post of 5th February detailing responses to the last FOI requests I had made to the Police. In particular the final one listed about PC Sawyer's photos. Evidently they were supplied to the Inquiry in digital form (it's just possible that they were taken in a different format and then digitised but that scenario is remarkably unlikely in my opinion).

    It's the answer to the last part of the question though that I find really disquieting - what an earth was Sawyer doing taking photographs with no time and date stamp on them? Even by Hutton standards this is appalling!

    The possibility exists that Coe, Franklin and Sawyer all witnessed the body being moved. Also Franklin and Sawyer claim that Coe was with two uniformed officers when they first see him. If that was the case who are the two police with Coe at this time and where did DC Shields and the "third man" go (there is an argument to be made that the last two mentioned formed the 9.28 outer cordon but I don't really feel the timeline allows this to happen)

  5. Brian I believe the police have been deceitful regarding the date and time stamp on the digital photo’s (Sawyer refers to his “digital” camera” para 48 line 10)

    The response to your FOI request

    3. Was a time and date stamp incorporated in the photographs as part of the photograph taking process?

    The response

    3) A time and date stamp was not incorporated in these photographs as part of the photograph taking process.

    Your question was clearly to establish if each photographs had a recording of the time when they were taken. A pedant could take your question and twist its meaning. The time may not be incorporated in the photographs as part of the photograph taking process but it surely would be recorded when the image was saved as a file in the electronic memory of the camera.

    I would resubmit your request if I were you. Sawyer and Franklin misled the inquiry relating to the timings that they attended the scene with regard to the ambulance crew attendance. Another question you could ask in a FOI is what time were the ambulance crew logged into the outer cordon.

  6. Q. Why would Franklin and Sawyer lie to the Hutton inquiry regarding the timings that they attended the scene?

    Ans. For the same reason that Holmes and Chapman were employed to find the body. It was vital for the subterfuge to work (not letting any suspicion fall on the police behaviour) that the body was found by a civilian search team and for the first photographs to be taken when the ambulance crew were present.

    If the police were going to be involved in transporting and positioning the body then they had to have good alibis.

    But it all went terribly wrong when the body had to be repositioned, Coe was caught red handed on his way to reposition the body.

    Coe lied to the inquiry and so did Franklin and Sawyer; the first police officers at the scene, who gave evidence at the inquiry, lied.

    Not only are the police exposed as liars their dodgy alibi has been blown to bits.

  7. Brian did some excellent work in unravelling the timings that shows the police were alone at the scene for a considerable time before the ambulance crew arrive.

    9.20 Call made by search team to say they had found body

    9.23 Search team bump into Coe + 2
    Chapman goes with Coe to show him the body
    Holmes carries on down the path to her car

    9.28 Police arrive and establish outer cordon
    First police “team out on the ground” Franklin, Sawyer, Dadd + 3
    Franklin & Sawyer climb path and meet Chapman
    Franklin & Sawyer climb further and meet Coe + 2

    9.40 Call to ambulance station

    9.55 Ambulance arrives at scene

    Franklin has the ambulance crew 2 minutes behind when he reached the body; Sawyer says the ambulance crew arrived at the same time they did and they walked up the path together.

  8. What do you make of this, link below? I know the whole episode surrounding the death of David Kelly is very strange but this sounds like something out of Midsommer Murders.

  9. Anonymous, my instinct is not to believe a word that Southend Leaks say. They don't provide any primary evidence whatsoever. They don't explain how they knew the exact route that Dr Kelly took on the 17th. (Perhaps they were told by the Special Branch Officer, I don't think so!) The footpath on the roundabout route from the east comes out at the bottom of the familiar track up to Harrowdown Hill (where everyone was parking initially). He wouldn't have crossed the fields to the east of HH as such because I think that the large field (where the white tent was ultimately erected) is only accessible from the west.

    "The many farms in the area" don't exist if the writer is talking about the land to the west of HH as I assume he is. Apart from Thames-side Farm I don't think there is another in that vicinity. It could be argued that once inside an outbuilding Dr Kelly could inject himself with a very fast acting poison and be dead within seconds. However from the commanding height of HH I would think that Dr Kelly would be readily visible crossing that very large field to the west unless he was hiding in the wood until the coast was clear. Although very athletic when younger Dr Kelly, now 59, and with an alleged bad back wouldn't have contemplated trying to outsmart his follower in the Oxfordshire countryside.

    A suicide dressed up to look like a suicide - it's just ridiculous in my opinion.

  10. I'd like to hear how Southend Leaks knows that Dr kelly's death in the sensitive outbuilding was suicide and not murder made to look like suicide.

  11. LL, a good point. Unless Southend Leaks can add some flesh to the bare narrative they have provided then for me it is an interesting story but no more than that.

  12. In my comment of 05.35 on 11 Feb I was scathing about the releases from "Southend Leaks" and my feeling 24 hours later is much the same. However in fairness I need to add a further comment.

    In lines 2 and 3 I had wondered how they knew the route Dr Kelly had taken in the vicinity of Harrowdown Hill. I have now read release 6 again, more particularly the second paragraph under 'Dr David Kelly's Movements on the Last Day'. It indicates a possible sighting of Dr Kelly although there is uncertainty about this, they say they have been provided with a map and a route. We of course don't get a chance to see the alleged map and route and can't make a judgement on it. Very frustrating!

  13. Suicide dressed up as suicide. Interesting. That would require the suicide to be untimely and by a different method, and perhaps in an awkward place.
    Just to recap, the last reliable,independent people to see Dr Kelly alive were the ISC on Thursday 16th July (time??).
    After that, we just have testimony from the family and Mrs Absalom (who gave somewhat woolly evidence secretly from her home, apparently).
    That a string of emails was sent,apparently from Dr Kelly's email address (heaven knows why it was left open at the Hutton Inquiry, other than to prove a point that he was apparently in his house when they were sent) on the morning of 17th July proves nothing.

    The New York Times (who extraordinarly despached a journalist to Oxfordshire pronto) quoted a Paul Weaving having seen Dr Kelly striding across the fields on the afternoon of 17th July 2003. However, Norman Baker quotes an email sent by Weaving to Rowena Thursby to say he never saw Dr Kelly that day.
    A TVP statement was taken from a Paul Weaver and not used by Lord Hutton.
    The theory of suicide dressed up as suicide would require Nicholas Hunt to miss something such as a hole in the head (though oddly one of Supt Dave Purnell's first announcements was that Dr Kelly was not a licensed holder of a firearm).
    Another possibility is of course natural death (at the wrong time or place) dressed up as suicide. Finally disappearance dressed up as suicide might be considered. One thing is certain, the suicide as described by Lord Hutton NEVER HAPPENED.