Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sergeant Alan Dadd

This will be a short post because the person concerned, Sergeant Alan Dadd hardly got a mention at the time in relation to the death of Dr David Kelly.

So far as I can see he is mentioned just once in the Hutton Inquiry and that's in this bit of testimony by PC Sawyer.  Mr Knox has got to the point where the ambulance crew have arrived at the parking area at the bottom of the track:

Q. Those two paramedics had obviously arrived separately from you?
A. They had arrived more or less at the same time we did. So the five of us went up because we were with Sergeant Alan Dadd as well.

In the Mail on Sunday of 12 September 2010 Matt Sandy wrote an article from the perspective of the ambulance crew and says:

They were met at the scene by Sergeant Alan Dadd and several other officers.  He led them up a bridle path towards the woods ...

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not aware of his name elsewhere in connection with Dr Kelly's death.  As I recall things PC Franklin takes over the scene at the body from DC Coe only to leave the site to go back down the track with PC Sawyer to bring up the police landrover!  Surely as the more senior officer Sergeant Dadd should have taken charge - at least until DI Ashley Smith or some other higher ranking officer came.

But this is Thames Valley Police where nothing is normal ..... 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

DC2368 COE

'I wish to further that I showed the body to DC2368 COE at 09.40 hrs.'  This sentence comes from the police witness statement of search volunteer Paul Chapman as quoted in Annex TVP1 on the Attorney General's site. (I'm assuming that in fact the word "state" or similar should follow the word "further").

It's the really small details that so often can be telling and here I'm fascinated by DC Coe's number being quoted.  This is the link to Annex TVP1 by the way

Mr Dingemans is taking Paul Chapman's evidence at the Inquiry and after ascertaining that the two volunteer searchers go back with a police officer to Abingdon to make their statements we have this exchange:

Q. You made your statement and then go off to work?
A. It was mid afternoon by the time we had finished there. I actually had a day off as I was going away to cub camp for the weekend. 

From a Freedom of Information request we now know that DC Coe was logged out of the outer cordon at 11.47 am which is much much later than we were led to believe.
Bearing in mind that Mr Chapman went with DC Coe to the body who more suitable some might ask than DC Coe to "assist" Paul Chapman in producing an accurate statement of his involvement in the events of that morning and after he has had time to return to Abingdon?

With DC Coe being in plain clothes how would Paul Chapman have known his number.  Possibly it was on Coe's ID card and Paul recalled it.  I don't really think that's likely.  If DC Coe took the statement perhaps Mr Coe's number was then visible.  Perhaps Mr Coe added his number to the statement almost as a reflex action; after all Coe was well into his fifties at the time and would be very used to thinking of his number as a means of identification I suggest.

My supposition outlined above about who took the statement is speculation on my part.  I just find it extremely odd that Paul Chapman would have said 'DC2368 COE'

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Mr Grieve is asked to withdraw his dishonest decision

On Thursday 9th June the Attorney General lied to Parliament regarding the matter of the death of Dr David Kelly.  On the same day he wrote what I consider to be a dishonest statement on the same subject.  The verbal statement with questions and answers from MPs is on hansard here  To access Mr Grieve's written statement go here

Dr Andrew Watt has today written formally to Dominic Grieve asking him whether or not he will withdraw the decision he made on 9th June.  If Mr Grieve were to do so it would obviously save the time that would be spent by the High Court considering a Judicial Review.  Mr Grieve should also realise that the longer he persists with the ridiculous position he adopted on 9th June then the more that the status of his own position and, in the long term, the office of Attorney General is undermined.

Andrew's letter to Mr Grieve can be read on his blog

Working link to Hutton Inquiry website

I'm aware that there has been considerable concern (shared by me) about the non availability of the Hutton website when trying to access it in the normal way.  This has been a problem it would seem from very early last Thursday 25 August right up until the time of writing this post.

Fortunately I now know that there is an archived version at  I hope this helps anyone looking for the site. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

Why didn't Mrs Kelly return on the 15th July?

There are many aspects of the testimony from Mrs Kelly on the 1st September 2003 which, at a minimum, strike me as very odd.  I am now going to describe one of these, an interesting point which so far as I am aware has never been raised before.  It must be emphasised that in my opinion "odd" doesn't necessarily equate with "sinister" although it might do.

The relevant part of the official narrative, in summary, goes like this:  Nick Rufford, a Sunday Times journalist, turns up at the gate to the Kelly home at about 7.30 pm on Wednesday 9th July.  He spoke to Dr Kelly and Mrs Kelly states that Mr Rufford tells him 'the press were on their way in droves'.  She knows of somewhere they can go to in Cornwall to escape the press; they quickly pack and head west staying at Weston-Super-Mare that night before continuing to their destination on the 10th.  Moving on to Friday 11th and it is agreed that Dr Kelly would appear before both the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and the televised Foreign Affairs Select Committee (FAC).

I am not absolutely certain about whether, when Dr Kelly on the 11th agreed to appear before both committees, it had been decided that they would both be on Tuesday 15th but certainly on Monday 14th it was clearly the intention that both committee meetings would be on that same day.

Going back to the preceding Sunday we gather that Dr Kelly left Cornwall alone to drive to Oxford to stay with his daughter Rachel.  He would use the train to go up to London for his appearance before the two committees.  During this time his wife Janice would stay down in Cornwall.

One argument is that it was surprising that Mrs Kelly stayed behind rather than accompanying him to give moral support.  Putting aside for a moment my belief that the marriage was in turmoil it might anyway be the case that if both Dr and Mrs Kelly were highly stressed with the thought of Dr Kelly appearing under the scrutiny of TV cameras it could be that the stress levels would be magnified if they were in close proximity to each other.  Thus I believe that the fact that Janice Kelly didn't go to Oxford with her husband that Sunday is not so inexplicable as might first appear.

Tuesday dawns and, so far as Mrs Kelly knows, her husband is attending both committees that day.  It is also by coincidence the Kelly's 36th wedding anniversary.  This is what Janice says about the 15th: 'This was our 36th wedding anniversary and I was constantly thinking of him all day'.  On the evening of the 14th Janice would have believed that within 24 hours both committees would be out of the way and some sort of normality could be resumed.  So on that basis why didn't she arrange to get the train to Oxford on the Tuesday, they could celebrate their anniversary with a meal at the home of their daughter and her fiancee, but no she stays on in Cornwall.

I have wondered for some time whether Janice Kelly was reading her testimony from a prepared script - one reason possibly to keep her out of view of reporters.  This extract of her evidence I found particularly fascinating:

Q. What were you doing on the Friday?
A.  On the Friday we decided to go to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  It was only a short drive so we thought that would be apt after the long day or two before.
Q.  That is what, some gardens you can walk around?
A.  That is right, yes.
Q.  And did you have lunch there?
A.  I am not sure whether we did or not.  No, I think we went back home - we spent a long morning there during which he had taken a call from several people from MOD explaining about the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Tuesday and an Intelligence Committee the following Wednesday.
Q.  Do you know who the calls were from?
A.  Certainly one was from Bryan Wells.  I am not sure if it was Bryan who told him that the former Foreign Affairs Committee would be televised. 

Not a too reliable witness linking the Tuesday and Wednesday committee meetings to her evidence of the situation on Friday 11th July (assuming that on that day they had decided that the two meetings would both be on the same day).  If she was reading her evidence from a prepared script all I can say is that she didn't have a very good script writer. 


Waiting for the Chief Constable to respond

On 16 June I wrote to Thames Valley Police regarding the change in evidence of DC Coe regarding Dr Kelly's body position.  I have yet to receive a considered reply although they treated a question in my letter as an FOI request and responded to that in isolation.  Of course if I wanted to make an FOI request I would have done that using the recognised procedure and I do not consider the procedure used by TVP as acceptable.

I have today written to TVP again in order to try and elicit a proper reply.  The text of the email is as follows:

Appended below is the email sent to you on 16 June 2011.  This is now over two months ago and I have yet to receive a reply to this letter.  I am concerned about this very long delay and ask whether you are now in a position to respond.
Brian Spencer
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 1:10 PM
Subject: Dr Kelly's death - conflicting evidence from DC Coe as to body position

Chief Constable, DCC Habgood, ACC Ball
The Attorney General Dominic Grieve made a statement to the House of Commons on 9th June 2011 concerning the death of Dr David Kelly. 
Despite evidence to the contrary Mr Grieve asserted that the body hadn't been moved. 
This communication looks at the evidence given by DC Coe, the first police officer to see the body, as to his description of the body position and that seemingly subsequent to his police witness statement he depicts it as being seen in a different position.
In Annex TVP1  submitted to the Attorney General's Office we have sight of DC Coe's police statement.  In it he says 'I was shown the body of a male person who was lying on his back'
At the Hutton Inquiry this is the question and answer in DC Coe's testimony that deals with the body position: 
8 Q. And how was the body positioned?
9 A. It was laying on its back -- the body was laying on its
10 back by a large tree, the head towards the trunk of the
11 tree.
On 8 August 2010 an interview of DC Coe (retired) appeared in The Mail on Sunday.  In annex TVP1 you focus on "The Third Man" who was with DC Coe, the admitted evidence of a third man having come into the public domain via this article.  Annex TVP1 states that 'DC Coe was interviewed on the 25th August 2010 in response to the Mail story'
Assuming a reasonable level of competence on the part of the interviewing officer(s) then they would have read the article in its entirety and discussed any aspects of the piece in the Mail on Sunday with DC Coe that were in conflict with his police evidence statement or other known evidence not just the matter of "The Third Man".  In the article these are the quoted words by DC Coe relating to the body position:
'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'
This description exactly matches that given by Louise Holmes, the first person to see the body.  Ms Holmes gets to within four feet of the body and is consistent in her police statement evidence and her testimony at the Hutton Inquiry.  Nevertheless in Annex TVP3 you are implying it seems to me that her evidence regarding the body position can't be right and should be disregarded.  About 45 minutes after the body discovery ambulance technician Dave Bartlett is able to stand and work in the space between Dr Kelly's head and the tree. 
I do not believe that at a distance of four feet from the body Ms Holmes would think the head and shoulders were slumped against the tree if the body was a significant distance from the tree.
I should like to be informed as to whether the interviewing officer(s) did discuss the body position with DC Coe in the light of his quoted remarks in The Mail on Sunday.  It would be a matter of great concern surely if the matter wasn't discussed.  There is no suggestion in your submissions to the Attorney General that the point was put to DC Coe.  I have therefore to pose the question as to whether Thames Valley Police misled the Attorney General regarding the vital question as to whether the body was moved.
I am copying this email to the Attorney General's office.  It will also appear on my blog  Blind copies are being sent to others who I feel might have a particular interest in the content. 
Brian Spencer