Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The blackout and the boot print machine

Here's a little story that never made it at the Inquiry but I think it is interesting in its own right.  I believe that what the two ambulance crew said at the Hutton Inquiry and subsequently to the media holds a lot of clues to the mystery of Dr Kelly's death.  This is simply because out of all the witnesses they would appear to have no motive to say things other than the truth.  Others I feel might not be similarly disposed.

Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett, highly experienced in their profession, realised that things as explained officially were just plain wrong - I can't be clearer than that.  Some people perhaps wouldn't let it worry their conscience when they could see that the reasoning for the death was not correct but fortunately for us, if not for Hutton, Ms Hunt and Mr Bartlett have huge integrity.  Their concerns led them to appear on TV to voice their felings and also be interviewed for The Observer and later Dave Bartlett presented some very interesting facts in the Mail

Towards the end of the last named we read:

After leaving the woods, the paramedics found the police had implemented a ‘news blackout’ – meaning they were not even allowed to radio their control room for fear it would be intercepted.

In addition, they were told that as they had been near the body, they would have to wait for a machine to arrive that was able to take their boot prints so they could be ruled out of any future inquiry.

He was later surprised to hear at the inquiry that no footprints at all had been found at the scene.

Mr Bartlett said: ‘It was only when we were walking back to the ambulance that we were told who the body was. One of the coppers told us it was going to be front-page news once it got out

‘We were there for an hour under a news blackout. We weren’t able to radio our control or anything. That was the only time that happened to me in my 24-year career as a paramedic.’

Looking at the evidence of the two  search volunteers it seems that they couldn't leave immediately either.  Why was it so essential for the police to "freeze" the site for about an hour.  Though too late to do anything for Dr Kelly the purpose of an ambulance crew  is to answer emergency calls and save lives yet here for unexplained reasons they seem to have been prevented from continuing their work.  Regarding the boot print machine where did this come from?  From their evidence it is clear that Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman had also to have their footwear checked but it isn't really certain from their testimonies whether that was done on site or back at Abingdon police station.  

It would be interesting to hear the reason why Thames Valley Police felt it was so necessary to put an ambulance and its crew out of circulation for an hour, a question that could be asked at an inquest.


  1. You have created a completely new internet species,Brian, with the boot print machine

  2. Nice post with great details. I need a Plastic cards printing machine, where i can get the best one?