During the course of the Hutton Inquiry it became obvious that witnesses were giving materially different versions of the same event. One of the best known of these discrepancies concerned the position of Dr Kelly's body as seen by witnesses at Harrowdown Hill on the morning of 18 July 2003.
In summary: the first known witness to the dead body was searcher Louise Holmes. In her police witness statement we now know that she got within four feet of the body. She has consistently said that the body was slumped against a tree with its head and shoulders against the tree. Her fellow searcher Paul Chapman, much further away when the body was first discovered, said the body was flat on the ground in his police witness statement but had his back against the tree when he spoke at the Inquiry. Later witnesses stated the body was on its back. Importantly nobody was saying that the body was any distance from the tree. With his now familiar lack of clarity Dr Hunt tried not to mention the tree at all!
When Lord Hutton presented his report on the 28th January 2004 he tried, in chapter 5 of the report, to square the circle regarding witness testimony differences. He said:
Those who try cases relating to a death or injury (whether caused by crime or accident) know that entirely honest witnesses often give evidence as to what they saw at the scene which differs as to details. In the evidence which I heard from those who saw Dr Kelly's body in the wood there were differences as to points of detail, such as the number of police officers at the scene and whether they were all in uniform, the amount of blood at the scene, and whether the body was lying on the ground or slumped against the tree. I have seen a photograph of Dr Kelly's body in the wood which shows that most of his body was lying on the ground but that his head was slumped against the base of the tree - therefore a witness could say either that the body was lying on the ground or slumped against the tree. These differences do not cause me to doubt that no third party was involved in Dr Kelly's death.
He singles out the matter of body position and very clearly leaves one in no doubt that he has seen a photograph with the head against a tree. One assumes that he would be diligent enough to look at other photos to check that the body hadn't been moved. However he doesn't say.
If we go to page 57 of Norman Baker's book "The Strange Death of David Kelly" we find out that Mr Baker contacted Lord Hutton about this photograph. Hutton told him that he didn't know who had taken the picture 'but it is likely to have been a police photographer'.
By the 28th January 2004 it seems to me that nobody had at that time suggested that the body was at a distance away from the tree. The only problem for Hutton to deal with was the different way witnesses described the body position and so hence what you read on page 151 of his report and this is what I have quoted above.
Fast forward to 9 June 2011 and the Attorney General Dominic Grieve, like Hutton, singles out the body position but has to confront a new dilemma. Subsequent to the publication of the Hutton Report the ambulance crew have been on television and have spoken to the press. As a result we now know that one of them, Dave Bartlett, not only confirms finding Dr Kelly's body on its back but that the head was some distance from the tree - sufficiently so in fact that Mr Bartlett was able to both stand and work in the space that afforded him.
The evidence of space between head and tree has now been confirmed by Dr Shepherd who has produced a "Forensic Medical Report" for the Attorney General
It is quite clear from consideration of the photographs of the scene that, at the time they were taken, the body of David Kelly lay with his feet pointing away from the tree and that there was a significant gap between the base of the tree and the top of the head.
In its submission Annex TVP 3 to the Attorney General http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk/Publications/Documents/Annex%20TVP%203.pdf Thames Valley Police compare the relevant police witness statements with what was said by the same people at the Inquiry regarding the observed body position. So far as the following are concerned we can easily make the comparison: Louise Holmes, Paul Chapman, DC Coe, Vanessa Hunt, Dave Bartlett and Dr Hunt. But what of PCs Franklin and Sawyer? Parts of their police witness statements are quoted it's true but nothing about body position or orientation. So either they never mentioned this in their statements or that part of their statements has just not been quoted in TVP 3.
That neither of them comment on body position is totally unbelievable in the normal course of events but perhaps they were advised not to go into this sort of detail. If they had mentioned the body position in their witness statements then here we have yet further proof of just how far Thames Valley police were prepared to go in a cover up.