Tuesday, 8 March 2011

FOI Response about Hutton Inquiry Documents

This is the text of a Freedom of Information request I made about documents relating to the Hutton Inquiry together with the response to the matters raised:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request, which was received at The National Archives on 2 February and later clarified on 8 February 2011:

1. Please inform me of the reference numbers of the reports of Dr Hunt to the Hutton Inquiry (You have previously told me that the reports are dated 19 July 2003 and 25 July 2003 and informed me of the dates they were received or logged at the Inquiry - this has been very helpful.  Thank you).
2. Please inform me of the dates of any statements, reports or other documents by the forensic biologist Mr Green, or his assistant Dr Eileen Hickey, that were submitted to the Inquiry and when they were submitted.

3. As in question 1 above please inform me of the reference numbers assigned to any documents submitted by Mr Green or Dr Hickey 

Clarification of request received on 8 February 2011: 

I have looked at the list of evidence on the Hutton website and it appears that not all of the evidence submitted is listed thereon.  For instance when I made an earlier FOI Request for all the reports made by forensic pathologist Dr Hunt two were found although I can only find what appears to be one in the evidence list.  I must ask you again to check through the evidence records and fully reply to my FOI Request of the 2nd February.

Following clarification of your request, this was forwarded to the Freedom of Centre to answer.  

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you two rights of access when you write to us asking for information.  You have the right to know whether we hold the information that you are looking for, and you have the right to have the information given to you.  These rights may only be overridden if the information you are looking for is covered by an exemption in the Act.  

1. Dr Hunt provided a draft report to the Inquiry while waiting for toxicology results. The reference that Dr Hunt used for this report was SC:39/2003/cb. This was later given another reference COR/1/0001 to COR/1/0014 that the Inquiry used for this report.

Dr Hunt after receiving the results provided a final report. The reference that Dr Hunt used was SC:39/2003/cb. This final report is already available  in the public domain and can be accessed on-line from the Ministry of Justice website: 


When this final report was given to the Inquiry it was given a reference of COR/2/0240 to COR/2/0253. The Inquiry team also gave the same final report the reference TVP/1/0059 to TVP/1/0073. This reference number was published by MoJ 22 October 2010. 

It is not known why there is a change in the Inquiry reference number. Both final reports are the same except the change from COR to TVP.  It is possible that Dr. Hunt provided a copy of his final report both directly to the Inquiry and to Thames Valley Police who then also sent it to the Inquiry.

For the information already in the public domain, this is exempt information under Section 21 of the FoIA. The section 21 exemption, exempts information which is reasonable accessible by other means http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/freedom_of_information/detailed_specialist_guides/awareness_guidance_6_-_information_reasonably_accessible_to_the_applicant_by_other_means.pdf 

2 & 3. Following a search of the paper and electronic records transferred to The National Archives at the conclusion of Lord Hutton's Inquiry, I have established that the information you requested for this part of your request is not held by this Department.  

The transcript of Mr. Green's oral evidence to the Hutton Inquiry [http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/transcripts/hearing-trans29.htm] explains that Mr. Green provided a spreadsheet to Thames Valley Police showing "a snapshot of where we are today showing what items have been examined, what has been found on them, which items were profiled, the results of those profile tests."  It further stated that Mr. Green had not yet put his evidence down in statement form because he was "finishing off the testing of that material."  Assistant Chief Constable Page would then come back to tell the Inquiry the results.  It appears to be for this reason that the information you have requested is not on the Hutton Inquiry's website.

In light of the above, this part of your request would perhaps be more appropriately addressed to Thames Valley Police: 

Freedom of Information Officer
Thames Valley Police Headquarters
Oxford Road
Oxfordshire OX5 2NX.

Regarding my first question the background to it can be found in an earlier post I made: http://drkellysdeath-suicideormurder.blogspot.com/2011/01/number-of-reports-submitted-by-dr-hunt.html

In brief confirmation was given of two separate reports having been made by Dr Hunt, the second of these having been assigned a "Thames Valley Police" or "TVP" number.  From the information above it seems that they were given a COR reference, "COR" I'm guessing stands for correspondence.  I am unable to find any "COR" documents in the "Evidence" tab.

A couple of quick points relevant to my question 1: firstly Dr Hunt is using the same internal reference for each.  Although obviously dealing with the same body I would have thought he might have added a suffix ( /1 and /2 say) to distinguish between them.  Secondly the writer of the FOI response is suggesting that the 25 July report may have been lodged as two copies - one from Dr Hunt and one from the police, if so why no evidence of two copies when the archive was searched.  I don't believe that Dr Hunt sent his report in anyway, that was the job of the coroner after he had sorted out the (incomplete) death certificate.  In the earlier FOI in the link above the first report from Dr Hunt was submitted and the second logged - a subtle difference!   Incidentally if you go to the "Press Notices" tab on the Hutton site you will see that the website was launched on 30 July 2003.

Moving on to my questions 2 and 3 and it will be seen that reports from Mr Green and Dr Hickey don't appear on the Hutton site!!  The implication is that Lord Hutton wasn't presented with the results of the 50 or so laboratory tests that Mr Green was carrying out nor any results of testing carried out by Dr Hickey.  There are already enormous question marks about the failure to remark on the lack of fingerprints on objects found in the proximity of the body, now it seems that other tests haven't been worthy of Lord Hutton's attention. 

In his evidence ACC Page goes to some length to itemise the places where samples were taken.  This is ACC Page's first visit with Mr Dingemans doing the questioning:

Q. And what tests were taken at the scene? Any swabs taken?
A. Yes, there was a very thorough swabbing of the body at the scene. Samples of all blood splattering were taken.
Q. Right.
A. Samples of every pool of blood were taken. Samples of every stain of blood on Dr Kelly's clothing were taken.  The items that I have mentioned, the knife, the Evian bottle, the watch, the hat, were all swabbed. The Evian bottle, the mobile phone, the watch were swabbed to establish whether there was any DNA present other than Dr Kelly's.

This being Hutton then of course there is no follow up question 'And the results of these tests were ... ?'

The failure to consider the tests is yet further evidence of the total inadequacy of the inquiry process.


  1. Brian,

    I think COR may prove to be "Coroner".

    Dr. Hunt's postmortem report of 19th July 2003 was officially to the Coroner.

    If I'm correct then the reference for the 19th July 2003 report, COR/2/0240 to COR/2/0253, indicates that there are upwards of 250 pages of written evidence sent by Nicholas Gardiner to Lord Hutton.

    None of that is on the Hutton Inquiry web site (except where it is duplicated by, say, Thames Valley Police evidence).

    The original "SC" designation may stand for "Senior Coroner" i.e. Nicholas Gardiner.

  2. Andrew - I have to agree with you about COR meaning "Coroner". The numbering of the COR documents does indeed suggest a considerable volume of evidence from Nicholas Gardiner going to the Inquiry.

  3. Brian,
    Sorry but I have been busy and only just got around to reading this latest and very interesting entry!
    You claim Lord Hutton wasn't presented with the results of the 50 or so laboratory tests that Mr Green was carrying out nor any results of testing carried out by Dr Hickey, although he was presented with a preliminary and a final post mortem report (just as we had suspected).
    However if (as the FOIR states) Lord Hutton did have a preliminary post mortem report and a post mortem report dated 25th July which was the final report then as a final report it must have or should have contained references to whatever toxicology reports Hunt was waiting for. This does not appear to be the case.
    In other words, the inquiry was kept waiting for a final report until all the toxicology reports are ready (no problem there) but when the toxicology reports are ready the coroner sends a final post mortem report to the inquiry that does not make reference to all the toxicology reports they were waiting for, nor does he send the toxicology reports.
    Do they really think we are that stupid? Are we therefore to assume the report of the 25th has been edited or is it not really the final report?

  4. Frank,

    I think you're confusing separate things.

    Lord Hutton was sent the final Postmortem report (dated 25th July 2003) which included the toxicology results.

    However, the forensic biology report (of Mr Green) and the DNA report (by Eileen Hickey, we think, but it was perhaps intended to be part of Mr. Green's report) was never sent to Lord Hutton.

    The forensic science tests (of Mr. Green and Dr. Hickey) are not part of the toxicology.

    The toxicology tests for drug concentrations e.g. in blood and stomach.

    The forensic biology looks at things like blood spatter analysis (if it was properly done, which is far from clear) and whether or not DNA was present on objects such as the knife found at the scene.

    I hope that helps.

  5. Frank/Brian.

    The wording of the Toxicology section of the online (25 July) report of Mr Hunt leaves me perplexed.
    At the time of completing this report I have been provided with ..verbal information by Dr Alexander Allan.." (information follows which by definition must have been a preliminary oral report,put into words by Hunt,highlighting that the analysis of volatiles is pending).
    Then Hunt says he has been provided with the formal statement of Dr Allan,dated 21 July. This begs the question when the oral information was communicated, and why it is even mentioned in Hunt's report if he is already in receipt of the (?) final report of Dr Allan.
    Is this, then, the modification of the 19th July report by way of an paragraph addendum? (The presence of acetone is in itself potentially very significant)

  6. Brian

    While we are here, the final paragraph (25) of Dr Hunt's conclusions reads very strangely.

    "Had this (bleeding from the wrist) not occurred he may well not have died at this time"
    Which time?

    ..."ingestion of coproxamol...with clinically silent coronary artery disease would both have played a part in bringing about death more certainly and rapidly..."
    As in complete rather than partial death?

  7. Felix

    One of the problems I have with Dr Hunt's report is his lack of precision throughout. Normally of course we wouldn't see what he wrote - I have I think stated before in a post or comment that I believe that the content of a pathologist's report should be open to no misunderstanding whatsoever. Unfortunately Dr Hunt's reporting is woefully inadequate.

    Regarding the verbal information from Dr Allan I am guessing that Dr Hunt talked to Dr Allan later on the Saturday (19th) after the tests had been done and then completes his first report.

    As you have pointed out Dr Allan's written report of the 21st July in a sense supersedes the oral stuff. However I don't have a problem with Dr Hunt mentioning the oral information, perhaps for the record he should do so, but it would have been better in my view if he had rewritten this part when he produced his second report to make it read better. Having just looked again at my last sentence I realise that of course the coroner would also be in receipt of the original report so that the reference in the final report to being informed verbally could have been usefully deleted perhaps.

  8. Felix

    The wording used by Dr Hunt in conclusion 25 certainly makes interesting reading! I think that doctors will frequently look to include multiple reasons for death on a certificate if they can as a sort of cover. Sometimes there are secondary causes of death as I understand it.

    "Had this (bleeding from the wrist) not occurred he may well not have died at this time"

    This is not totally clear but I'm deducing from this statement that Dr Hunt is saying that Dr Kelly would have died anyway but later from the ingestion of the co-proxamol tablets alone. It was the bleeding that was primarily responsible for the death when it happened. In a literal sense Dr Hunt's remark could be interpreted as "everybody will die sooner or later but it was the bleeding that did it for him on the 17th or 18th July".

    ..."ingestion of coproxamol...with clinically silent coronary artery disease would both have played a part in bringing about death more certainly and rapidly..."

    I can understand use of the word 'rapidly' here but 'certainly' implies to me that without the ingestion of coproxamol and silent coronary artery disease the bleeding may not have caused death on its own.

  9. Brian
    Neither the bleeding nor co-promaxol toxicology support any sort of certain death. But combined,by implication, the two are killers. Not forgetting the alleged and undiagnosed heart disease . This is hard to believe. A bit like bumping one's head and scratching one's wrist and hey presto you've had a heart attack.

  10. Afterthought

    As I understand it, the secondary causes of death are underlying causes such as alcoholism,heart disease (silent or otherwise). I don't see how deliberate poisoning is an underlying cause, just as gunshot wounds might not be so described. If Dr Kelly had cut his wrist then shot himself in the head, how would the certificate have looked? Would cutting wrist be a secondary cause then? Perhaps someone can clarify.

  11. What I am driving at is this:
    How did Dr Hunt decide that blood loss was the primary cause of death, when he did not estimate it and in any case it is next to impossible to kill oneself in this way?

    One suspects that the causes of death were already written up before the results of Dr Allan's further results (which might have thrown up something more significant) which is why it is important to see the 19th July report of Dr Hunt, when he had not performed searches for volatile chemicals or indeed other common drugs.

    I also notice that Dr Allan detects food in the stomach, yet acetone is detected in the blood as a sign of starvation or moving from glycogen to fat oxidation. Very odd. The acetone level was not analysed by Dr Allan, just detected.