Thursday, 11 October 2012

The repositioning of the left arm (2)

In my last post I had discussed the position of the left arm ... as seen by Louise Holmes, Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett.  Paul Chapman was much further away from the body when first discovered and doesn't help us with this aspect.  This post will look at the evidence of Dr Hunt and Mr Green.  They both spent many hours at Harrowdown Hill and each wrote reports so therefore a clear picture of the scene during the afternoon should have emerged.

In his report of 25 July Dr Hunt wrote:

His left, upper arm was in line with the shoulder, with the elbow flexed, and his left hand pointing down towards his feet.  His right upper arm lay at his side with the right elbow flexed and the right fist clenched over the right chest area.

A little further on, under 'Adjacent scene' is this:

Lying adjacent to the left shoulder/upper arm was a 'Barbour' cap with the lining side uppermost.  There was blood over the lining and also the peak.

Lying near his left hand, on the grass, was a black resin-strapped wristwatch; presumably a digital watch, lying face down and showing some bloodstaining.

Lying adjacent to this was a white metal 'Sandvik' pruning-type knife, or gardener's knife, with its blade extended from the handle.  There was bloodstaining over both the handles and the blade and a pool of blood beneath the knife which was approximately 8-10 by approximately 4-5 cms.

Lying propped against some broken branches, to the deceased's left and about 1' from his left elbow was an open bottle of 'Evian' water (500 mls).  The top lay close by but further away from the deceased.  There was some smeared blood over the bottle and over the bottle top.

There was bloodstaining and a pool of blood in an area running from the left arm of the deceased for a total distance of in the order of 2'-3'.  There was also a patch of possible bloodstaining on the ground near the left hip region.

Mr Green reporting on 27 September simply says about the arm positions:

His right hand was up to his right chest and his left was angled in towards his waist.

After mentioning an area of bloodstaining by the left hip and that it was sampled Mr Green says

Next to this area was a bloodstained wristwatch (AMH.4) and a metal penknife (AMH.5) which had its blade exposed.

Next to the deceased's left shoulder was a Barbour cap (AMH.6).  Beyond this, approximately 25 cm from the left shoulder was an almost empty Evian water bottle (AMH.2) and 12 cm further on was its top (AMH.3).  Each of these items appeared to be smeared with blood, indicating that the deceased was already injured when these items were handled.

It's quite clear isn't it that by the time Dr Hunt and Mr Green are examining the scene that the left elbow is flexed, to the extent that the left hand is now pointing towards the feet.

PC Franklin and PC Sawyer self evidently saw the body and the arms in the different positions and that has to be remembered when looking at their evidence at the Inquiry.  They were examined on the morning of 2 September whilst the ambulance crew were on the way to London so that, as with the civilian searchers, any conflict between their testimonies and that of the paramedics wouldn't be a concern for Hutton.

This from Franklin:

He was lying on his back with his right hand to his side and his left hand was sort of inverted with the palm facing down (Indicates), facing up on his back.

Sawyer's turn:

The right arm was by the side. The left arm was palm down. There was a large amount of blood on the back of the left arm. There was a watch and a curved knife by that wrist.

In his police witness statement Franklin states:

All persons left the scene and PC SAWYER and I noted that the deceased had an apparent cut to his left arm, his wristwatch and a knife were lying close to the left arm, also at the scene was a bottle of water.

In summary:  Dr Hunt/Mr Green have the left elbow flexed.  The watch and knife it was decided had to be relocated near the new position of the left hand, this time making sure that the watch strap wasn't on top of the knife.  The water bottle was left more or less where it was.  If the left lower arm, knife and watch were in their final positions when the ambulance team attended then  Vanessa Hunt would have been blocked in getting to the left hand side of Dr Kelly's body.  Franklin and Sawyer could safely say that the palm was facing down as the paramedics weren't in court at the time.  Neither Franklin nor Sawyer state the position of the left arm relative to the body, they only mention that it was with the palm facing down.

Hutton and Thames Valley Police worked hard on this part of the cover up (the position of the left arm) but it hasn't been enough - thanks largely to the integrity of Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett.

The repositioning of the left arm (1)

In my last post I focussed on the irrefutable evidence that Dr Kelly's body was moved between the time Brock, the search dog belonging to Louise Holmes, found it and the arrival of the ambulance team on scene confirming death.  Briefly, Ms Holmes and the first police officer to see the body (DC Coe) have both very clearly stated that the head and shoulders were against the trunk of a tree.  Ambulanceman Dave Bartlett also left us in no doubt that there was sufficient space between the head and the tree for him to stand in the gap, a fact corroborated by photographs of the scene.

It's not just the body that was moved though.  Close examination of the evidence shows that the left arm was repositioned and that Dr Hunt's view of it was significantly different from that of the two ambulance crew.  It's this evidence I want to examine now.

Louise Holmes said this in her witness statement:

I saw the body of a male person.  I did not go any closer than 4 feet from the body.
I saw a significant amount of blood, which was located on the left arm of this person and on his trousers.  I saw that this person was slumped against the base of the tree with his head and shoulders resting on the trunk, his legs were stretched out straight in front of him.  I thought that the left arm had been cut off because of its position and angle that I had seen it resting at.  The left arm was laid out to the left of his body, it seemed to be bent backwards at a funny angle.  I did not touch the body, however it is possible that my dog 'Brock' may have moved the body when it was found.  The right arm of the person was positioned by the right side of the body.

At the Inquiry this is what she said:

Q. And how close up to the body did you go?
A. Within sort of a few feet of the body.
Q. And did you notice anything about the position of the
A. He was at the base of the tree with almost his head and his shoulders just slumped back against the tree.
Q. And what about his legs and arms? Where were they?
A. His legs were straight in front of him. His right arm was to the side of him. His left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a funny position.

So we have the left arm laid out to the left of the body but also bent back 'at a funny angle'.  The use of that phraseology is significant in my view in that there was clearly something unnatural in the positioning of that arm.  I've cautioned before about 'His left arm had a lot of blood on it'.  The observation of 'a lot of blood' would I suggest be largely governed by past experience of seeing blood, the perception of a lot of blood by Ms Holmes could be markedly different from that of Ms Hunt and Mr Bartlett in my opinion.

I have no doubt whatsoever that DC Coe, PC Franklin and PC Sawyer had seen the body in more than one position ... and had also seen the left arm in different positions.  It is highly significant that Mr Knox didn't ask DC Coe about where the arms were and that Coe didn't volunteer any information on that subject.

Moving on to the two ambulance crew and we are fortunate that they gave much useful information about the arm positions at the Inquiry and subsequently.

At the Inquiry Ms Hunt was questioned by Mr Dingemans:

Q. Could you see anything on the body itself? A. On his left arm, which was outstretched to the left of him, there was some dry blood. 

At the end of her testimony she was asked if there was anything else she could add.  It's at this point that she remarked that there was a minimal amount of blood.  This evidently rang alarm bells with Mr Dingemans and he questioned her further but then found himself in more difficulty:

Q. And is there anything else that you know of about the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death that you can assist his Lordship with?
A. Only that the amount of blood that was around the scene seemed relatively minimal and there was a small patch on his right knee, but no obvious arterial bleeding. There was no spraying of blood or huge blood loss or any obvious loss on the clothing.
Q. On the clothing?
A. Yes.

Q. One of the police officers or someone this morning said there appeared to be some blood on the ground. Did you see that? 
A. I could see some on -- there were some stinging nettles to the left of the body. As to on the ground, I do not remember seeing a sort of huge puddle or anything like that. There was dried blood on the left wrist. His jacket was pulled to sort of mid forearm area and from that area down towards the hand there was dried blood, but no obvious sign of a wound or anything, it was just dried blood. 
Q. You did not see the wound?
A. I did not see the wound, no.
Q. You were not looking at the wound, then? 
A. The hand -- from what I remember, his arm -- left arm was outstretched to the left of the body.  
Q. Yes. 
A. Palm up or slightly on the side (indicates) and, as I say, there was dried blood from the edge of the jacket down towards the hand but no gaping wound or anything obvious that I could see from the position I was in. 
Q. Were you examining the wrist for --
A. No, I was not. No.
Q. And were you examining the ground for blood or blood loss?
A. No.
MR DINGEMANS: Right. Thank you.

She used the word 'outstretched' twice in relation to the left arm.  The jacket sleeve was pulled up to the mid forearm area and there was dried blood from here down towards the hand but no obvious wound.  When the arm is outstretched the natural position of the wrist is 'palm up or slightly on the side'.  Incisions on the ulnar artery side of the wrist would be far less evident under those circumstances than if the cuts were to the radial artery (thumb side of wrist).

Dave Bartlett in response to Mr Knox confirms the position of the left arm and orientation of the wrist:

Q. What did you then come across?
A. They led us up to where the body was laid, feet facing us, laid on its back, left arm out to one side (indicates) and the right arm across the chest.
Q. What about the hands? Did you notice anything about the position of the hands? 

A. It was slightly wrist up, more wrist up than down. 

Later in Dave Bartlett's examination:

Q. Did you see any items next to the body?
A. Yes, to the left side above just where the arm was, there was a wristwatch, a silver knife with a curved blade and a bottle of water.
Q. And the bottle of water, was that empty or full or --  

A. I think it was empty. 

Knox very wisely didn't pursue the question of lack of blood:

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about the circumstances leading to Dr Kelly's death?
A. Just the same as my colleague actually, we was surprised there was not more blood on the body if it was an arterial bleed.
MR KNOX: Thank you very much. 

In the Observer article of 12 December 2004 in which the two ambulance crew were interviewed we read this:

Both saw that the left sleeves of his jacket and shirt had been pulled up to just below the elbow and there was dried blood around his left wrist.
'There was no gaping wound... there wasn't a puddle of blood around,' said Hunt. 'There was a little bit of blood on the nettles to the left of his left arm. But there was no real blood on the body of the shirt. The only other bit of blood I saw was on his clothing. It was the size of a 50p piece above the right knee on his trousers.'

In an earlier post I had pointed out that the shirt had, in fact, short sleeves - as noted by forensic scientist Roy Green in his report dated 27 September 2003. 

Matt Sandy interviewed Mr Bartlett for the Mail on Sunday of 12 September 2010 and this is part of the piece:

Mr Bartlett said: 'As we approached the scene, it was obvious he was dead.  He was lying flat out in the clearing with his bottle of water, knife and watch in line right next to his left arm.
'His left sleeve was rolled up and you could see a wound with some dried blood around it'.

It can be seen that the two ambulance crew saw the body with the left arm outstretched, with the wrist in its natural position of being more up than down, with the sleeve pulled up towards the elbow and with some dried blood present but no obvious wound.  The "props" appear to have been above the arm and thus seemingly in line with the head.  Ms Hunt made no comment about the positions of the left arm and props impeding her from getting close to the left side of the upper body.  In this clear area she would surely have noticed any significant pooling of blood on the ground.

Nowhere in their testimonies at the Inquiry or in subsequent press interviews do the ambulance crew refer to the left arm being bent back in a funny position as stated by Louise Holmes.

That the position of the left arm was changed as well as the body being moved may not be too surprising.  It will be evident from my next post though that the left arm, watch and knife were repositioned before Dr Hunt conducted his examination at the scene.

Finally in this post I will just mention that the paramedics reported that the right arm was up over the chest whereas Ms Holmes sees it at the side of the body.  

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Dr Kelly's body was moved after he was found

In this blog I have previously covered the actions of the two volunteer searchers on Friday 18 July together with those of the three police officers, DC Coe, PC Franklin and PC Sawyer.  I have also recorded the testimonies of the ambulance crew (Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett) and commented on them.  One of the most apparent aspects of the cover up was the movement of Dr Kelly's body after discovery but before confirmation of death.  

On 18 April 2012 a formal request was made by Dr Andrew Watt and myself to the Attorney General that he apply to the High Court for an inquest to be held into Dr Kelly's suspicious death.  Although some of our other many concerns were voiced  in the document priority was given to clearly and comprehensively dealing with the movement of the body.  Our analysis should surely leave nobody in any doubt that Dr Kelly's body was moved.  If you disagree feel free to say so in the comments and explain your reasoning.

Subsequent to lodging our application it was incorporated into an article in "Global Research" by Stephen Frost and we are grateful to him for doing this.  Rather than me trying to reproduce sections of it for this post I think it makes more sense to give a link to the article.  

Many of the "Other issues of Concern" have already been touched on by me.  There are links there to one of Andrew's blogs, where he has also highlighted some of these matters.

This is the link to the "Global Research" article: 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Reminder of email address

I just want to remind readers that if wished contact can be made with me on this email address:

Earlier in this blog I had asked that comments on my posts should be on topic and I want to thank all of you who have not only commented but have related the comments to what I had posted.  It makes life that much easier in keeping track of the very many different aspects of the Dr Kelly case!

However the email address is available for those who want to talk about matters relating to Dr Kelly but not being discussed at the time on this blog.  Even though I am accepting anonymous comments it might be that you still don't want your concerns to be visible or that you have confidential information, in this case please use the email address.  Thanks.   

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The two men in black

In my last post we had the sighting at about 10.30 am on the 18th of "the three men in black".  At some unspecified time on the same day there is a sighting of two men in black and luckily they are briefly seen on video

Go to #52 and then at 29 seconds in there is the briefest of views of two furtive looking men in black hurriedly moving from left to right. Thanks to a Kelly researcher who knows the geography I can say that this shot was taken looking south east with Harrowdown Hill in the background.  When looking at Google Earth it can be seen that there is a particularly large field immediately to the north west of Harrowdown Hill and extending to a track leading from the village of Longworth to the unoccupied Thameside Farm.  This field appears to be an amalgamation of two with a length of hedge removed to make it a single unit.

The section of hedge taken out is about 220 yards long.  If it was extant in July 2003 and the two men were walking down the eastern side of it then the cameramen wouldn't have seen them.  They will probably have thought that it was bad luck to be caught by an inquisitive lens.  As with the more familar track that goes up to Harrowdown Hill the drive up to Thameside Farm runs approximately north - south and is less than half a mile west of the Harrowdown Hill track.  The latter of course was quickly closed off to the media and so it's "well done" to the TV crew to have spotted this alternative route to get at least reasonably close to the Hill.

Going north beyond Thameside Farm itself there are disused farm buildings closer to the river and from the direction of travel it seems possible that the two men in black might have come from this area.  The three men in black seen at about 10.30 weren't too far from this spot either.

Were the two men in black two thirds of the three men in black, or perhaps one of the two men in black was one third of the three.  I don't know but I would have thought that at a minimum the two groups had some sort of common function that day.

According to the walker the three men heading towards the river path were empty handed but this evidently wasn't the case with the two chaps caught on film. The coat of the leading man is hiding what he was carrying.

I really don't know about all of this, one problem we have is not knowing when the cameraman went up the Thameside drive.  But the description of the three and the video evidence of the two does suggest to me movement with a good deal of urgency about it.   


The three men in black

"The three men in black".  It sounds sinister.  On the morning of 18 July 2003 perhaps it was.  ACC Page made his second appearance at the Inquiry on the afternoon of 23 September and this is how he and Mr Dingemans discussed "the three men in black":

Q. In the course of your inquiries were you contacted by a person who suggested there had been three men dressed in black wandering around at the time that Dr Kelly's body was found?
A. Yes, I think both we and the Inquiry received a communication from a gentleman who expressed concern that he had noticed three individuals dressed in dark or black clothing near the scene where Dr Kelly's body was found. I am speaking from memory, but I think the sighting was at somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30 in the morning, something like that.

Q. Did you follow up that sighting?
A. Yes, we undertook some fairly extensive work. We got statements from all our officers who were at the scene and that was in excess of 50. We plotted their movements on a map and eventually were able to triangulate where the writer was talking about and identify three of our officers, so I am satisfied that I am aware of the identity of these three individuals.

In Annex TVP-4 on the Attorney General's website Mr McGinty also wrote on the subject under the title "Three Men in Black" 

There was much more detail in the McGinty piece:
  • The observer was a keen walker who was heading west along the bank of the River Thames
  • At about 10.30 am he noticed a helicopter arriving from the east and then circling above Harrowdown Hill.  He also noticed two police cars at Harrowdown Hill. 
  • The walker initially sees the three men in black from a distance of 300 - 400 metres and, at the closest, was about 100 metres from them.  They were walking alongside each other and in the direction of the river path.
  • The three all wore black trousers, two of them wore long sleeved black t-shirts and the third a lightweight black leather jacket.  None of them was carrying anything.
  • The walker returned to his car at about 1.20 pm where he informed a police officer about what he had seen 
  • He was interviewed by police and a statement taken.  A force wide appeal was made for any officer who thought he might have been one of the three males or who had seen them to come forward
  • The three men were identified as police officers engaged in the search operation
McGinty then gets very defensive about the presence of the men in black:

'It must be borne in mind that this sighting was an hour after the body of Dr Kelly was discovered and some nine hours after the latest time of death as defined by Dr Hunt.

'There is no obvious scenario of a third party involvement in Dr Kelly's death which would give rise to the suspicion that the three individuals seen at that time could be anything other than the officers engaged in the search operation.'

It's interesting that this Annex was produced when it demonstrated seeming incompetence on the part of ACC Page.  Page recalls that the sighting was somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30 in the morning, something like that. Now we are told it was at 10.30.  Is it really conceivable that an ACC would come to an Inquiry not knowing that detail?  Perhaps at the Inquiry there was a desire to make sure that the supposed sighting was before the official discovery of the body ... and Paul Chapman had already stated that the boat people had seen police at some point previously.  Frankly I'm struggling to believe that Page was so incompetent.

Page said that they took statements from all the officers at the scene and that numbered over 50. The McGinty version of events has TVP making a force wide appeal.  Perhaps it was after then that they identified the 50 plus at the scene.  If that part of Page's recall is correct then we know that he's now aware of exactly where everybody was at 10.30 because their positions were all plotted on a map and even some triangulation done to identify the three men in black. 

The observer was described by McGinty as a keen walker and as such was quite likely to have been carrying binoculars.  Certainly the description of the clothing worn by the men in black seen from a distance of 100 metres is very detailed, even to the extent of saying one was wearing a lightweight leather jacket.  The identification procedure followed by TVP seems excessively elaborate bearing in mind the very different clothing worn by the men in black compared with the more normal police garb.

Other points: the circling helicopter will be dealt with later.  I was interested to see that two police cars were visible at the time at Harrowdown Hill - they must have been identifiable as police cars rather than just ordinary vehicles, one could be the Franklin/Sawyer land rover (which looks to have been driven up to the field by the wood at about 10.30) but the identity of the second is a mystery.

I assume that the walker had parked at Newbridge where I'm sure there would have been a police presence by 1.20 pm.

McGinty goes a bit over the top in my opinion in disassociating the three men in black with Dr Kelly's death.  When he takes this approach then the alarm bells start ringing. 

One other thing to add is that the location of the sighting described in this post has been identified by another Kelly investigator as being north of Harrowdown Hill.  My next post will be about the two men in black seen to the north west of the Hill.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Conflicting evidence - Coe, Franklin, Sawyer (3)

In my last post I reproduced some of PC Sawyer's examination by Mr Knox at the Inquiry.  The official narrative is that Franklin, Sawyer and Dadd go up the track, with Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett in tow.  They see Coe with two uniformed officers and Coe, according to Sawyer, doesn't do the natural thing - taking the ambulance team to the body, but instead points out to Sawyer the way he went into the wood and confirms he had been to the body.  This part of Sawyer's evidence is sharply defined and outwardly would seem to fit in with the evidence from the ambulance crew ... which was heard after lunch that day.

Sergeant Dadd becomes invisible in the narrative and my best guess is that he stands with DC Coe whilst the others go up to the body.

PC Franklin is clear that he and Sawyer were taken into the woods by Coe to the area where the body was.  DC Coe, two weeks later, appears to confirm what Franklin has said.  Seven years later and in a letter to the Attorney General's Office Lord Hutton says:

Detective Constable Coe then took Police Constable Sawyer and Police Constable Franklin to see the body. 

Freedom of Information requests have returned the information that Sawyer's photographs at the scene were taken between 10.10 and 10.15 and that Dadd, Franklin, Sawyer and the two ambulance crew were logged out of the outer cordon at 10.26.  Thus it would appear that the four at the scene collected Dadd from wherever he was (I suggest talking to Coe) and that all five then went down the track together.

A further FOI response tells us that Dadd, Franklin and Sawyer were all logged in at the outer cordon at 10.00.  It has also been revealed that searcher Paul Chapman was logged out at 10.01.  This would mean then that the police conversed with Mr Chapman just inside the outer cordon.  Franklin and Sawyer each make the point at the Inquiry that they met Chapman; Sawyer is the more specific saying:  'We met Paul from SEBEV walking down the hill'

I would imagine that the outer cordon at that time was located at the bottom of the unmade track going up to Harrowdown Hill, in other words close to where cars were parking.  Franklin stated:

PC Sawyer and I attended Harrowdown Hill and went to the scene. We were unsure initially whereabouts we were going, but we passed Paul from the South East Berks Volunteers and he directed us to two uniformed police officers and DC Coe.

One has to be incredibly careful in interpreting what people say but the above evidence from Franklin suggests to me that Paul could see the 'two uniformed police officers and DC Coe'  My thought is that the conversation takes place near the edge of the wood just after 9.50.  This would allow Paul to get down the track to be logged out at 10.01.  It would be important to ensure that someone added a logging in time of 10.00 for Franklin and Sawyer for the record.  A space may have been left on the log for that information to be added later.

In the Mail on Sunday article of 8 August 2010 about Coe there is this interesting extract:

Eventually, two officers, PC Andrew Franklin and PC Martyn Sawyer, arrived and stood with DC Coe.
'We sealed off a pathway to the scene,' said DC Coe, 'and I stayed for a bit after that and had a chat with them about old times.  I told them there he is, dead, and then you chat about other things.
'Then the ambulance team came and opened his shirt to put white pads on his chest [ four electrodes connected to a heart monitor, the reading from which was a flat line].' 

The chat about other things might in reality be a discussion about how well the cover up is going and what now needs to be done! 

At the Inquiry there is this interaction between DC Coe and Mr Knox:

Q. How long did you spend at the scene?
A. Until other officers came to tape off the area. I would think somewhere in the region of about 25 or 30 minutes.
Q. Did anyone then arrive after that time?
A. Yes, two other police officers arrived, I took them to where the body was laying and then they made a taped off area, what we call a common approach path for everybody to attend along this one path.
Q. Did any ambulance people arrive?
A. They did, yes.

Coe is clear that he took two police officers to where the body was laying.  PC Sawyer has been equally clear in indicating that Coe pointed him in the direction of the body, rather than taking him to the body, when he and Franklin went with the ambulance team up into the wood.

My belief from the available evidence is that two other officers - not Franklin and Sawyer - led Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett along the track to where Coe was standing.  Franklin and Sawyer were already with Coe and had seen the body.  It's at this point with the paramedics ready to go into the wood that there is a quick swap of personnel with Franklin and Sawyer now leading Hunt and Bartlett.  

If my surmising is correct then we have further police officers in the form of Franklin and Sawyer being dishonest (There is good evidence that both Coe and ACC Page had lied at the Inquiry).

Another very interesting fact has emerged from examining Freedom of Information responses.  As already mentioned one FOI request has informed us of the times of six photographs taken by Sawyer of the body in situ.  These are the ones taken between approximately 10.10 and 10.15 and are timed to the second.  Interestingly another FOI result tells us that at the National Archive there are nine  images that appear to be associated with Sawyer's camera.  So did Sawyer take three photographs at a slightly earlier time ... when Coe was showing the two officers the body?

It's inconceivable that Sawyer wouldn't have taken shots of the scene if he and Franklin, courtesy of Coe, had already been to the body.  When the paramedics gave their evidence at the Inquiry they described Franklin and Sawyer staking out the common approach path and the taking of photographs before they checked for life.  Were these very noticeable actions arranged so that there could be no doubt that this was the first time that Franklin and Sawyer approached the body?  

One last point: Hutton in his report said that he had seen a photograph of the body with it's head against the tree.  If true I wonder if it was taken by Sawyer prior to the body being moved.