Information regarding Thames Valley Police Investigation into the Death of Dr David Kelly

The request was partially successful.

Dear Thames Valley Police, 13th January, 2013

Please treat this letter as a Freedom of Information Request (FOIR).

Regarding: Thames Valley Police Investigation into the Death of Dr David Kelly

I have been studying the case of Dr David Kelly’s unnatural death and there appear to be some discrepancies in the evidence available in the public domain which are of concern. I hope that you will be so kind as to help me clarify some details via this request for information.

I will restrict this particular request to asking for details about the evidence given by Detective
Constable Coe. FOIR are listed in the body of this document.

1. The position of Dr Kelly’s body at the scene of his death

When interviewed in 2003 at the Hutton Inquiry, Detective Constable Coe clearly told the Inquiry that Dr Kelly’s body was “laying on its back” when he first saw it:

Q. And how was the body positioned?
A. It was laying on its back -- the body was laying on its back by a large tree, the head towards the trunk of the tree.”
And
Q. And was the body lying on its front or on its back?
A. On its back.

Yet in a later newspaper interview Detective Constable Coe stated:

As I got closer, I could see Dr Kelly’s body sideways on, with his head and shoulders against a large tree. He wasn’t dead flat along the ground. If you wanted to die, you’d never lie flat out. But neither was he sat upright.

The importance of this change in evidence is that the latter description supports the eyewitness evidence of the volunteer search team who first discovered the body:

She [Louise Holmes] saw the body of a man at the base of the tree with his head and shoulders slumped back against it. His legs were straight in front of him, his right arm was at his side and his left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a strange position.

This is also supported by the description given by Lord Hutton of a photograph he had seen of the body:

. ...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.

The ambulance crew stated that when they arrived at 9.55am the body was laying flat on its back a distance great enough from a tree for one of them to stand in the gap between a tree and the head of the body when they were checking for signs of life. This description is confirmed by Dr Richard Shepherd in his report for the Attorney General where he stated that he saw photographs showing a “significant gap between the base of the tree and the top of the head.” Please note that Dr Shepherd states that the gap is “significant” which possibly means that Lord Hutton was referencing a different photograph.

David Bartlett, Ambulance Paramedic, commented that “...if earlier witnesses said that [the body was leaning against a tree] then the body had obviously been moved”.

FOIR 1a. Was Detective Constable Coe ever questioned about his change of evidence regarding the position of the body? If so, what was his response?

FOIR1b. Were the volunteer search team and/or the ambulance crew ever shown photographs of the position of the body and asked questions to the effect “Was this the position of the body when you saw it?”

FOIR1c. If the answer to 1b is affirmative, which photographs were shown to which individuals? Were the photographs shown to them taken in the morning and/or the afternoon?

2. The presence of Detective Constable Coe at the scene of Dr Kelly’s death

It appears that Detective Constable Coe would have arrived at the scene around 9.30am .He told the Hutton Inquiry that he left the scene shortly after the ambulance crew arrived at approximately 10.00am:

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. After the ambulance crew arrived, did you do anything on the scene?
A. No, I left and left the other officers there, and I left the actual area of the scene.
Q. Did you have any further involvement in the search of the scene that day?
A. I did not.

A Freedom of Information Request (FOIR) has revealed that Detective Constable Coe did not actually leave the scene until 11.47am.

FOIR2a. Was Detective Constable Coe ever questioned about the difference in the time that he told the Hutton Inquiry that he left the scene and the actual time he left the scene? If so, what was his explanation?

FOIR2b. What task(s), if any, was Detective Constable Coe conducting at the scene between 10.00am and 11.47am?

3. Blood at the scene of Dr Kelly’s death

In the disputed period when Detective Constable Coe said he had left the scene when he had in fact not left the scene, according to eyewitness reports, some significant material changes apparently occurred at the scene.

Ambulance crew David Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt arrived at the scene at approximately 9.55am:

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.'

David Bartlett, a paramedic of some 24 years standing, had stated at the Hutton Inquiry:

Q. And were there any stains on the clothes?
A. Not that I could see apart from on the deceased's right
knee, there was a bloodstain about 25 mm across.

Interestingly, Dr Green (who had entered the scene of Dr Kelly’s death at 14.10pm) reported “a roughly circular contact bloodstain of 8cm in diameter” on the right knee of Dr Kelly’s jeans.

Detective Constable Coe was not pressed at the Hutton Inquiry about the amount of blood he had witnessed at the scene of Dr Kelly’s death however in the 2010 article he stated that he “certainly did not see a lot of blood anywhere...there was some on his left wrist but it wasn’t on his clothes. On the ground there wasn’t much blood about, if any. I didn’t see any bloodstains on the bottle and I didn’t check the knife”

In contrast, Nicholas Hunt, Forensic Pathologist, told the Hutton Inquiry that he had arrived at the scene at 12.00 noon (13 minutes after Detective Coe had left). Dr Hunt described, in his post-mortem report, copious quantities of blood at the scene. Blood was present on the clothing, exposed body surfaces and adjacent area including “...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’.”

FOIR3. Was Detective Constable Coe ever shown photographs taken in the morning compared with photographs taken in the afternoon and asked any questions about where the additional blood might have come from?

4. The search of Dr Kelly’s Home

Detective Constable Coe told the Hutton Inquiry that, although he attended the premises, he took no active part in the search of Dr Kelly’s home:

Q. What about on the following day? We know the following morning there was a search made of Dr Kelly's premises. Were you at all involved in that?
A. Yes, I was. I went to the premises and at that time I had an attachment with me who acted as an exhibits officer at the house and I oversaw what he did. I made no search whatsoever of the premise.

However, the Mail on Sunday article reported this:

"The next day, he was ordered to go to Dr Kelly’s home to act as an ‘exhibits officer’ in a thorough search. Intriguingly, he believes the brief was to look for any papers that
‘Could be of a sensitive nature’ about Iraq or other national security concerns,
not for anything that might relate directly to his death. He said: ‘We were looking for documents relating to Iraq. No one knew whether he kept any papers of a sensitive nature at home. We had to search. If someone writes a suicide note, you’ll find it. We were looking
for politically sensitive documents.’ The search team took ‘several boxes’ of files back to the police station, where Detective Constable Coe spent three
days examining them with an officer from Thames Valley Special Branch. He said the documents were about ‘all sorts of things’ but will not disclose if anything sensitive
was found. He also said there were drawings but, asked if they were technical drawings, said only they ‘weren’t artistic’. His involvement was touched on only briefly at the Hutton Inquiry. He said he went to the house to act as an exhibits officer but was asked for no further details. The inquiry was apparently satisfied with the evidence of Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page and PC Sawyer, who said the house was searched and unspecified ‘documents’ were taken away.”

FOIR4a. Was Detective Constable Coe ever questioned about the discrepancies between what information he gave to the Hutton Inquiry and the information he gave to the Mail on Sunday regarding his involvement in the search of Dr Kelly’s Home?

FOIR4b. Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page informed the Hutton Inquiry that he did not have the security clearance to look at the documents taken from Dr Kelly’s home. Detective Constable Coe however examined some of the documents over 3 days and briefly described some of the documents. Did Detective Constable Coe have higher security clearance than Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page? Was Detective Constable Coe a member of Special Branch at that time? Had Detective Constable Coe ever been a member of Special Branch? Has Detective Constable Coe at any time been attached to Special Branch or any of the UK security services?

5. Persons accompanying Detective Constable Coe to the scene of Dr Kelly’s death.

Detective Constable Coe told the Hutton Inquiry that he was accompanied to the scene by only one other police officer:

A. Mr Chapman told me that they had found a body in the
woods.
Q. Who were you with at this time?
A. Detective Constable Shields.
Q. It is just the two of you?
A. Yes.

However, he indicated for the first time in the Mail on Sunday interview that this was inaccurate and there was a third man present who remains unidentified to the public.

FOIR5a. What is the identity of the third man and what was his role on 18th July 2003?

FOIR5b Did Thames Valley Police know at the time of the Hutton Inquiry who had accompanied Detective Constable Coe? If they were aware, why did Thames Valley Police not place this information about the third man on record at the time of the Hutton Inquiry?

FOIR5c. Previous FOIRs indicate that a police helicopter arrived with 3 people on board and took off again with 4 people on board Was the third man (referred to above) taken away by the police helicopter that landed at Harrowdown Hill on the 18th July 2003?

FOIR5d. If it was not the “third man” who was picked up from Harrowdown Hill on 18th July 2003 by the helicopter then who was it?

I thank you in anticipation for your kind help in this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Miriam Stevenson

Hutton Inquiry Hearing Transcripts
Mail on Sunday article, 08.08.2010 retrieved from http://www.pressawards.org.uk/userfiles/...
http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/arc... para. 130
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u... para 151

http://www.pressawards.org.uk/userfiles/...
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
Mail on Sunday 12.09.2010 retrieved from http://www.pressawards.org.uk/userfiles/...

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...

http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/aboutu...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/dec/12...
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
http://www.pressawards.org.uk/userfiles/...
http://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:Davi...
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...

Mail on Sunday article, 08.08.2010 retrieved fromhttp://www.pressawards.org.uk/userfiles/...

http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/arc...
Mail on Sunday article, 08.08.2010 http://www.pressawards.org.uk/userfiles/...

Public Access,

Dear Miriam Stevenson

I acknowledge receipt of your request for information dated 13 January 2013 regarding Dr David Kelly.

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a further response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act, subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party. In some circumstances Thames Valley Police may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in Thames Valley Police.


Yours sincerely

Public Access Assistant
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone +44(0)1865 846 329 | Internal | 700-6329
Email Address [email address]

Thames Valley Police Currently use the Microsoft Office 2002 suite of applications. Please be aware of this if you intend to include an attachment with your email. This communication contains information which is confidential and may also be privileged. Any views or opinions expressed are those of the originator and not necessarily those of Thames Valley Police. It is for the exclusive use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication or the information in it is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error please forward a copy to: [email address] and to the sender. Please then delete the e-mail and destroy any copies of it. Thank you.

Dear Public Access,

I understand that that the FOIR sent by myself to Thames Valley Police is now delayed. By law the agency should have responded by 8 February 2013.

Yours sincerely,

Miriam Stevenson

Public Access,

Dear Miriam Stevenson

We apologise for the delay in responding to your Freedom of Information request. We will respond as soon as possible and no later than the Monday 25 February 2013. Thank you.

Regards

Jonathan Hands | Public Access Manager
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone +44(0)1865 846 033 | Internal | 700-6033
Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

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Wendy Wilson left an annotation ()

I do not believe that Dr Kelly ended his own life and this is why the Post Mortem report is to remain hidden for 70 years, so that anyone who may be implicated in his death (in all likelihood) will be dead themselves by then.

There is so much evidence of cover up in the news of late, why not this too? And with the rate of Police Officers being arrested (with one jailed only recently) how can we trust the Police when they have so much ability to hide things from us?

It is very worrying.

Ian Martin left an annotation ()

The Post mortem and toxicology reports have been in the public domain since 2010.

Google it they are on the Ministry of Justice web site

Hands Jonathan,

Dear Miriam Stevenson

We apologise for the further delay in responding to your Freedom of Information request. We will respond as soon as possible and no later than the Monday 4 March 2013. Thank you.

Regards

Jonathan Hands | Public Access Manager
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone +44(0)1865 846 033 | Internal | 700-6033
Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

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Dear Mr Hands

Thank you for your new response.I hope that you are able to provide the information requested by 4th March 2013.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Miriam Stevenson

Stephen Frost left an annotation ()

It is alleged that ACC Page lied to the Hutton Inquiry about the absence of unidentified fingerprints on Dr Kelly's stolen dental records. A subsequent Freedom of Information Act request to and answer from Thames Valley Police established that there were indeed unidentified fingerprints on Dr David Kelly's dental records.

It is also alleged that Superintendent Young, who headed the Thames Valley Police investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly, was not called and/or refused to give evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

It is also alleged that Peter Neyroud, the then Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, was not called and/or refused to give evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

Peter Neyroud, the then Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, was awarded the Gary Hayes Award by the US Police Executive Research Forum in 2004 (it is believed that this award had never previously been made to a non-US citizen). Peter Neyroud was also awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the same year (2004).

At ACC Page's retirement party, it is alleged that none other than Lord Hutton gave a laudatory speech about ACC Page.

All this on top of the alleged lies of DC Coe in his evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

It is alleged that the alleged lies of DC Coe and ACC Page to Lord Hutton were never properly investigated by Thames Valley Police, or for that matter by anybody else.

Hands Jonathan,

Dear Dr Miriam Stevenson

 

We apologise for the delay in responding to the above FoI request.  W will
respond to your request as soon as possible.

 

Regards

 

Jonathan Hands | Public Access Manager

Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley
Police

Telephone +44(0)1865 846 033 | Internal | 700-6033

Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington,
Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

 

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Wendy Wilson left an annotation ()

Post Mortem Results have not been in the Pubic Domain according to the Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

They are only available to Doctors

Ian Martin left an annotation ()

The Daily Mail article is dated January 2010 the Ministry of Justice reports are dated October 2010.

Go to the website www.justice.gov.uk
or Google it.

Miriam Stevenson

Dear Mr Hands,

I understand that by law, under all circumstances the response of Thames Valley Police is now long overdue. I anticipate a response very shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Miriam Stevenson

Hands Jonathan,

Dear Dr Miriam Stevenson

Thank you for your continued patience regarding this matter. I will respond as soon as possible.

Regards

Jonathan Hands | Public Access Manager
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone +44(0)1865 846 033 | Internal | 700-6033
Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

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Public Access,

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Stevenson

 

Reference No: RFI2013000044

 

I write in connection with the above-referenced Freedom of Information
request dated 14 January 2013, which has now been considered as follows: 

  

Request Response

   

1a. Was Detective Constable Coe ever questioned about his change of evidence regarding the position of the body? If so, what was his response? 1a. Thames
Valley
  Police have
no record
of such
questions
having been
asked.
1b. Were the volunteer search team and/or the ambulance crew ever shown photographs of the position of the body and asked questions to the effect “Was this the position of the body when you saw it?” 1b. Thames
Valley
  Police have
no record
  of such
questions
having been
asked.

 
1c. If the answer to 1b is affirmative, which photographs were shown to which individuals? Were the photographs shown to them taken in the morning and/or the afternoon? 1c. Not
applicable.
 

 
2a. Was Detective Constable Coe ever questioned about the difference in the time that he told the Hutton Inquiry that he left the scene and the actual time he left the scene? If so, what was his explanation? 2a. Thames
Valley
  Police have
no record
of such
questions
having been
asked.

 

 

Request Response

   

2b. What task(s), if any, was Detective Constable Coe conducting at the scene between 10.00am and 11.47am? 2b. DC Coe
would have
  been
involved in
  duties
commensurate
with his
role,
although
there is no
record of
what
specific
tasks were
carried out
at the
specified
times.

 
3. Was Detective Constable Coe ever shown photographs taken in the morning compared with photographs taken in the afternoon and asked any questions about where the additional blood might have come from? 3. Thames
Valley
  Police have
no record of
  such
questions
having been
asked.
4a. Was Detective Constable Coe ever questioned about the discrepancies between what information he gave to the Hutton Inquiry and the information he gave to the Mail on Sunday regarding his involvement in the search of Dr Kelly’s home? 4a. Thames
Valley
  Police have
no record of
such
questions
having been
asked.
4b. Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page informed the Hutton Inquiry that he did not have the security clearance to look at the documents taken from Dr Kelly’s home. Detective Constable Coe however examined some of the documents over 3 days and briefly described some of the documents. Did Detective Constable Coe have higher security clearance than Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page? Was Detective Constable Coe a member of Special Branch at that time? Had Detective Constable Coe ever been a member of Special Branch? Has Detective Constable Coe at any time been attached to Special Branch or any of the UK security services? 4b. We can
confirm that
  we do hold
information
about the
respective
security
clearances
of ACC Page
and DC Coe. 
Such
information
is exempt by
virtue of
Section
40(2) and
Section 31. 
Please see
explanation
below.

 

We can
confirm that
we do hold
information
about
whether DC
Coe was ever
attached to
Special
Branch. 
Such
information
is exempt by
virtue of
Section
40(2) and
Section 31. 
Please see
explanation
below.

 

In so far as
your
question
relates to
the UK
security
services,
Thames
Valley
Police
neither
confirm nor
deny whether
any relevant
information
is held. 
The
exemption at
section
23(5)
applies. 
Please see
explanation
below.

 

 
5a. What is the identity of the third man and what was his role on 18th July 2003? 5a. We can
confirm that
  we hold this
information,
  but it is
exempt by
  virtue of
section
40(2)
Personal
Information.

Please see
explanation
below.

 

 

Request Response

   

5b. Did Thames Valley Police know at the time of the Hutton Inquiry who had accompanied Detective Constable Coe? If they were aware, why did Thames Valley Police not place this information about the third man on record at the time of the Hutton Inquiry? 5b. No
information
  is held as
to who, if
anyone knew
who had
accompanied
DC Coe.

 
5c. Previous FOIRs indicate that a police helicopter arrived with 3 people on board and took off again with 4 people on board.  Was the third man (referred to above) taken away by the police helicopter that landed at Harrowdown Hill on the 18th July 2003? 5c. The
helicopter
  landed to
drop off a
video that
had been
taken of the
scene. 
There is no
record to
suggest that
any person
was taken
away by the
helicopter. 
In order to
assist
further,
please would
you confirm
which
previous
“FOIRs” you
are
referring to
in your
request.

 
5d. If it was not the “third man” who was picked up from Harrowdown Hill on 18th July 2003 by the helicopter then who was it? 5d. Please
see answer
  to 5c.

 

Section 23(5) Information supplied by, or concerning, certain security
bodies

 

The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any
information (whether or not already recorded) which was directly or
indirectly supplied to the public authority by, or relates to, any of the
bodies specified in subsection (3).

 

Section 31(3)   Law Enforcement

 

Although Thames Valley Police recognises that disclosure may enhance
public debate, it is not considered in the public interest to release
information held which may adversely affect our law enforcement
activities.   As such, on balance it is our decision that the public
interest lies in non-disclosure for the reasons outlined above.

 

Section 40(2)   Personal information

 

Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act is disclosed
into the public domain, effectively to the world, not just to one
individual.  Releasing the information requested would reveal personal
information about individuals, thereby breaching the right to privacy
afforded to individuals under the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

 

Complaint Rights

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision made
by Thames Valley Police, you can lodge a complaint with the force to have
the decision reviewed within two months of the date of this response. 
Complaints should be made in writing to the Public Access mailbox;
[1][email address]

 

If, after lodging a complaint with Thames Valley Police, you are still
unhappy with the outcome, you may make application to the Information
Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  We apologise for the delay in
responding.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jonathan Hands | Public Access Manager

Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police |

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Miriam Stevenson

Dear Public Access,

Thank you to TVP for your response to this request

Yours sincerely,

Miriam Stevenson

Public Access,

Dear Ms Stevenson

Thank you for your kind reply regarding our response. We thank you again for your patience.

Kind Regards

Jonathan Hands | Public Access Manager
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone +44(0)1865 846 033 | Internal | 700-6033
Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

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