To make sense of this post it is worth reading not just my preceding post http://drkellysdeath-suicideormurder.blogspot.com/2011/02/1007-time-on-18th-july-1.html but this one also http://drkellysdeath-suicideormurder.blogspot.com/2011/02/few-thoughts-about-evidence-of-pcs.html They are lengthy and detailed and might need more than one perusal to take in the information; it is a complicated old business and of course the Hutton Inquiry muddies the water even more.
In my last post I came to the conclusion that the ambulance crew just had PCs Franklin and Sawyer for company when they examined Dr Kelly's body and declared life was extinct. At this time I believe that DC Coe was at least 70 metres away down on the track that adjoins the eastern side of Harrowdown Hill Wood. From the evidence at the Inquiry we have both PC Franklin and DC Coe declaring that the paramedics were confirming at 10.07 the fact of death. But the problem is that whilst Franklin was with the ambulance crew DC Coe wasn't! So why did DC Coe have that time in his notebook?
Dave Bartlett is asked about the time that he and Vanessa Hunt arrived with the ambulance:
Q. Can you remember when you arrived at the place you were going to?
A. The time?
Q. Yes, the time.
I'm making an assumption that there is a log book with the ambulance and that the time that the vehicle arrives at an incident is noted - maybe there is some sort of tachograph that does it. Even with the Patient Report Form going missing (see my last post) the 9.55 time is available for Dave Bartlett to check. The paramedics are logged out of the outer cordon at 10.26 according to an FOI request I made (see this post http://drkellysdeath-suicideormurder.blogspot.com/2011/02/replies-to-my-latest-foi-requests-to.html) So it can be seen that the paramedics had 31 minutes to scoot up the track, go into the wood , check Dr Kelly's body for life and get back down the lane and logged out of the cordon.
If we believe what is said by PC Franklin and DC Coe then the trip up the track and everything that the paramedics did took 12 minutes and that this then would have left a generous 19 minutes for the walk back down and through the outer cordon. Those two figures reversed would make much more sense I feel. The track itself up to the point they would have entered the wood is I reckon half a mile long. If, as I believe, DC Coe was standing on the track with PC Franklin and PC Sawyer and it was two other police that led the paramedics up the track then the time at which the paramedics reach DC Coe's position might very well be 10.07. From this point the paramedics go into the wood with the two policemen putting in metal poles as they go. Arriving at the scene PC Sawyer takes a number of photographs and snaps a few more when Dr Kelly's shirt is undone. All the time the clock is ticking away and it wouldn't surprise me if death isn't confirmed until say 10.12 to 10.14. Certainly I don't believe the time of 10.07 given in evidence is tenable.
This now leaves 10 minutes or a little more to pack up and return down the path to the outer cordon and the ambulance. The timeline I'm imagining here makes a lot more sense to me. Both PC Franklin and DC Coe I think would have jotted down the time that the paramedics reached them (10.07). DC Coe starts replying to Mr Knox as if the question is about the arrival of the paramedics at the top of the track and hurriedly has to revise this to the time death is confirmed. As for DC Franklin it might be something as simple as forgetting to note the time the paramedics said life was extinct, when it came to the Inquiry he just had that single time of 10.07 in his notebook and quoted that.
One final point is this interesting interjection by Lord Hutton in the middle of PC Franklin's testimony:
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.
It is now clear in our minds isn't it that the two paramedics were never more than two minutes behind the two PCs from the moment they arrived at Harrowdown Hill. You might believe that of course but I don't.