Saturday, 29 January 2011

Blood and the Barbour cap

Last Wednesday I wrote a post entitled 'Dr Hunt's Exhibit List'.  This brought forward a variety of interesting comments and it was one from "Lancashire Lad" that made me realise that here was another detail that needed to be aired as a new post.

I had dealt with what I believed to be very understandable reasons for the cap in the game pocket of the Barbour jacket to be in the Exhibit List and the cap near the body not.  In summary it became clear to me that any items recovered from the pockets of Dr Kelly's clothing rightly were the province of Dr Hunt but that articles physically detached from the body weren't, at least from the point of view of recording in an exhibits list.

An aspect of the scene at Harrowdown Hill on the 18th July that hasn't received the attention it merits is the fact that there was blood on the Barbour cap and it was LL's comment that got me seriously thinking about this.  Going first to what Dr Hunt says in his published report this is the first paragraph under the section 'Adjacent scene':

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.

At the Inquiry Dr Hunt just adds the small detail that it was a flat cap:

Q  Did you investigate the scene next to the body?
A. Yes. 
Q. And what did that show? 
A. There was a Barbour flat-type cap with some blood on the  lining and the peak near his left shoulder and upper arm. In the region of his left hand lying on the grass  there was a black resin strapped wristwatch, a digital watch, which was also bloodstained.

The Barbour cap, water bottle and bottle top would seem to have been in close proximity to each other - a crowded area of the scene.

Just before Mr Knox obtains the testimony of Dr Hunt he takes evidence from DC Coe.  DC Coe intriguingly appears to be in two minds as to whether the cap is on Dr Kelly's head or off the body:

Q. Could you be more particular as to what the clothes you saw were? 
A. He was wearing a Barbour jacket. There was a cap, a pair of trousers and think walking boots, but I cannot  be certain on that. 
Q. Was the cap on the head or was the cap apart from the  body? 
A. That I cannot remember -- I have a feeling the cap was off, but I cannot be sure.

We know that while DC Coe was supposedly standing guard over the body, but in reality I'm sure some distance from it, the body was moved away from the tree.  I suspect that there was more activity at this time than just moving the body to a flat position.   Lancashire Lad has put forward the possibility that the Barbour cap was covering a small pool of blood that would have been in the "correct" position when Dr Kelly had his head and shoulders against the tree but once the body was moved forward a puddle near his head would have appeared very odd!  So someone had the brainwave of removing Dr Kelly's cap from his head to cover the pool of blood.  I think that this explanation has a lot going for it.

The fact that blood was seen on the knife, wrist watch, bottle and bottle top are all explainable to a degree.  But the cap?  How or why would blood find its way there?


  1. The accounts of Franklin and Sawyer differ slightly in who was present when they first approached the body.


    "Did you get taken into the wood?
    A. DC Coe took us into the woods, PC Sawyer and myself, to the area where the body was."

    "Q. Did you see whether or not there was a watch or anything on the body?
    A. If I may refer to my notes?
    Q. Yes, of course.
    A. The wrist watch was lying away from the body, next to a knife. The wrist watch was just to the left of the left arm, with the knife next to it, and also there was an open bottle of water at the scene.
    Q. An open bottle of water?
    A. Yes, the wrist watch was off the wrist.
    Q. What, mineral water?
    A. A bottle of, yes, mineral water, a plastic bottle.
    Q. How large was that bottle, a big bottle or a small one?
    A. A small one.
    Q. And what did the knife look like?
    A. The blade was open. It was some sort of lock knife. I cannot be that precise. I believe it had a curved -- slight curve to the blade. The blade was maybe 3 to 4 inches long.
    Q. Was there anything on the blade?
    A. Blood.
    Q. Was there anything else beside the bottle of water, the blade and the wrist watch?
    A. No."

    "LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you: how long were you at the scene before the paramedics arrived?
    A. Less than two minutes.
    LORD HUTTON: Less than two minutes. I see. Thank you"

    Sawyer says that Coe directed Franklin and himself into the wood but Coe did not go with them however Sawyer says the ambulance crew were with them at that time.

    The interesting thing is that both Franklin and Sawyer do not report seeing the cap, Franlin was asked specifically "Was there anything else?"

    Bartlett of the ambulance crew did recall seeing the cap! So the puzzle isn't just how did blood get onto the cap; it's also when did the cap appear?

  2. LL, I have powerful reasons to believe that PC Franklin and PC Sawyer were at HH much earlier than we might be led to believe but this is too complicated to discuss as a comment!

  3. The big question is of course whom were the TVP VIP protection group (TSG), to which Franklin/Sawyer belonged at the time, protecting from 2.30pm the previous day. I hope they didn't lose their man. When the true facts emerge, this will certainly be made into a film,and it will box a box office smash. Has anyone got the rights already?

  4. Felix
    I was curious about where Franklin and Sawyer based - Royal Lodge Winsor Great Park. I am guessing but these wouldn't be the natural choice of search team leader / advisor for someone that goes missing in Southmore.

    And Brian

    Did you get to the bottom of the alleged bags found stuffed in a hedge from the same pharmacy from where Mrs K got her coproxamil?

  5. LL, I'm getting confused in my old age! I don't recollect anything written about the question you are raising with me.

  6. Brian

    your blog Sunday, 7 November 2010 PC Franklin and a search for pills

    Comment by anonymous

  7. LL, thanks for reminding me! With, at the moment, 67 posts on my blog, a three figure total on Andrew's blog, Rowena's blog and all the comments attached to these, the vast number of words in the Hutton Inquiry and Report, Dr Hunt's Report, Dr Allan's report and numerous forums etc on the internet - I struggle at times to remember. That is my excuse anyway!

    Back to your question, I have been in touch with the anonymous writer and I'm quite sure that the information is correct. At the moment all one can say I think is that the presence of the bags is a very interesting coincidence but that I believe is as much as it is at present.

  8. Brian

    Thanks for that, also I am intrigued by the "powerful reasons" that Franklin & Sawyer were in the vicinity earlier.

    I had always assumed that it was Coe and friends that were seen by HH before the body was found.