- Some may wonder why an American writer would choose a
purely British colloquialism as the title of his article. There simply
could not be found a better description of Lord Hutton's manipulation,
distortion and omission of evidence in his report on the death of world-class
microbiologist David Kelly. But Hutton may have outsmarted himself by providing
information that will prove Kelly's body was moved at least twice before
police and forensic investigators saw it.
- Come with us as we follow Hutton's tortuous path trying
to discount the testimony of Louise Holmes (and Paul Chapman), the volunteers
who found Kelly's body. Numbers enclosed in parentheses are references
to items in Chapter 5 of the Hutton report where Hutton comments and (very)
selectively presents testimony from published transcripts of testimony
at his hearings and/or excerpts from witness statements and reports that
are not available to the public.
- In (130) Hutton correctly characterizes Louise Holmes'
testimony saying, "She saw the body of a man at the base of the tree
with his head and shoulders slumped back against it." (Keep this in
mind because it becomes crucial in two aspects of where Kelly died.)
- The two volunteers started down a path on Harrowdown
Hill (where the body was found) to meet police who were being dispatched
from Thames Valley Police (TVP) headquarters after being notified by Chapman
over his mobile phone. On the way they met three uniformed police (not
the ones being dispatched). Chapman took one of them, DC Coe back to where
the body was. In (131) Hutton comments, "Mr. Chapman showed Detective
Constable Coe the body lying on its back·" Already, Hutton
has moved the body to its back. Chapman had testified at his hearing that
the body was "sitting up against a tree·."
- All subsequent witnesses at the hearings (including DC
Coe) said the body was lying on its back (but not in contact with the tree).
In item (151) Hutton tries to finesse a reconciliation of these contradictory
descriptions of the position of the body. He comments:
- "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
(emphasis added)- 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."
- The photograph, to which Hutton refers, has never been
seen by the public or media. Hutton is very careful not to say the back
was on the ground (there is a reason) and neglects to say the shoulders,
as well as the head, were slumped against the tree. This photograph could
only have been taken by one of the volunteers who found the body and could
be the "smoking gun" that unravels the whole suicide charade.
- Hutton, in (131) skips very lightly over the activities
and testimony of the two Police Constables (Franklin and Sawyer) dispatched
from TVP headquarters in Abingdon who arrived about a half hour after Chapman's
call with the two paramedics (Vanessa Hunt and David Bartlett) in tow.
Although not included in Hutton's report, all four testified Kelly's body
was lying on its back. Both Hunt and Bartlett said the feet were facing
towards them. PC Sawyer said the body was "lying on its back with
its head at the base of a tree·."
- But most significantly, and also not disclosed in the
report, is the fact that PC Sawyer took several photographs with his digital
camera before, during and after the paramedics attended to the body. When
Hutton and Sawyer at one of the hearings discussed the photographs, Hutton's
only interest was whether or not the photos showed Kelly's shirt buttoned
- A simple comparison of Sawyer's photographs with the
one Hutton referenced should prove whether his rationalization of the differences
in testimony is valid or if the head and shoulders were against the tree
as Holmes testified. If the photographs show different positions of the
body, the implications are obvious. Kelly's body was moved during the half-hour
interval before the two constables and paramedics arrived. It may be necessary
for all the pictures to be subpoenaed for that comparison to be made.
- There is another reason Hutton has gone to such pains
to make it appear the body was found laying on its back. Not discussed
in the report is the portion of the testimony of Dr. Nicholas Hunt, the
pathologist who performed the autopsy, where he discloses discoloration
on the back of the body (called hypostasis, livor mortis, or post-mortem
lividity) indicates Dr. Kelly died while on his back. Hunt also says the
body was found on its back. Of course Hunt did not arrive on the scene
at Harrowdown Hill until about noon, a good three and a half hours after
the body was found so he has no first-hand knowledge of the position in
which the body was discovered. The discoloration appears on the lowest
parts of the body after the heart stops pumping blood.
- This is a further complication for Hutton in that if
the body was found with its head and shoulders against the tree, that means
it was moved to the tree after he had died and the blood had settled to
the back and where Kelly died has not been established.
- But where Kelly died is not the only thing in question.
Dr. Hunt assigned the primary cause of the death as bleeding caused by
self-inflicted knife injuries to the left wrist. He said one artery (the
ulnar) had been completely cut through while the artery usually cut in
suicide attempts, the radial (which is much easier to reach), had not been
- Several medical experts have come forward to challenge
that finding. In a letter released to the media, three medical professionals,
Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon David Halpin, Dr. Stephen Frost in Sweden
who is a specialist in diagnostic radiology, and a retired anaethesiologist
in South Africa, maintained that a completely severed artery would almost
immediately retract and limit the bleeding while promoting clotting. They
said they dispute that Dr. Kelly could have died from the bleeding.
- Support came for that position Wednesday from Dr. Don
MacKenchnie who is head of accident and emergency at Rochdale infirmary
and chair of the British Medical Association's accident and emergency medicine
- In a letter to the Daily Telegraph yesterday, Dr. A.
Peter Fletcher of Halstead, Essex (a retired pathologist) derided Hunt's
finding based on the blood evidence described in the hearings. He said
about five pints of blood would have to have been lost to cause death.
"Anybody who has seen five pints of blood spurted forcefully out of
a severed artery will know that there is one hell of a mess." He concludes
that, "Either Kelly did not die of blood loss or it occurred at some
place distant from where the body was found."
- Fletcher closed by remarking, "A coroner has the
power of subpoena, witnesses give testimony under oath and a jury is usually
involved. Lord Hutton was denied these requirements for his inquiry."
- Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner has said he will
make a decision after a legally required 28-day period, whether to reopen
the inquest that was cut short by appointment of the Hutton Inquiry. As
this writer said in an earlier open letter to the public and media (published
before the Hutton report was released) if Gardiner does not resume the
inquest, color him part of the cover-up.
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