When the Attorney General made his woeful statement to the House of Commons three weeks ago he also published a huge bundle of documents which his office has assembled in support of his position. Perusing it all is taking some time and one has to be prepared for blood pressure to rise in respect of many of the assertions made and conclusions drawn. I've made references in previous posts to some of the appalling contributions from Dr Shepherd and from Thames Valley Police.
One good plus is that we are at last seeing some important new information coming in to the public domain. A question that has intrigued me for some time is 'how much co-proxamol did Mrs Kelly have in the house when Dr Kelly left the home for the last time'. Now we have an answer.
Within the Attorney General documents is a file titled 'Schedule of responses to issues raised' It's a PDF file of 60 pages and 169 entries so plenty to read! This is issue number 18:
It was assumed that, as Mrs Kelly had been prescribed co- proxamol, the empty blister
packs of these tablets found in Dr Kelly’s jacket pocket must have belonged to her. However,
this was never established adequately at the Inquiry. It was not established whether Mrs Kelly
would normally have had such a number of tablets, whether she had recently obtained a
repeat prescription, or when and from where the tablets had been dispensed.
And this is the response:
There were no assumptions made. The police investigated the matter as far as it was possible to do so.
Thames Valley Police report:
“Following the discovery of Dr Kelly’s body a search was made of his house. Mrs Janice Kelly was present and was asked to show officers any medicines in the house. Mrs Kelly showed the officers a drawer in her bedroom where there were 4 x 10 packs of co-proxamol in foil blister packs. These were not contained within a box. She also directed the officers to a kitchen drawer where a full box of 10 x 10 packs of co-proxamol were kept.
The full pack was issued to Mrs Kelly on the 20th May 2003 by the White Horse Medical Practice in Faringdon.
Mrs Kelly stated that her husband would never take any sort of tablet, not even for a headache but that he was aware that she was prescribed co-proxamol as a painkiller. He also knew that she kept her supplies of these tablets in her bedside cabinet and in a kitchen drawer.
The markings on the packets recovered from Dr Kelly’s body and those prescribed to his wife were compared and found to be identical.
The manufacturers of the tablets were approached to ascertain if it was possible to trace the history of the recovered packets. The Technical Manager told officers that each batch release would contain approximately 1.6 million packets which were distributed to numerous companies and could end up in chemists anywhere in Britain.”
Some figures then but it still fails to answer the question as to whether the (almost) empty foil packs found in the pocket of Dr Kelly's Barbour jacket originated from his wife's supply.
At the Hutton Inquiry Mr Dingemans employs some odd questioning regarding the co-proxamol when Mrs Kelly gives her testimony. This is the relevant exchange:
Q. We have also heard that some co-proxamol was used.
Q. Do you take any medicine?
A. I do. I take co-proxamol for my arthritis.
Q. I think we are also going to hear that appears to be the source of the co-proxamol that was used.
A. I had assumed that. I keep a small store in a kitchen drawer and the rest in my bedside
I would readily accept that talking to that particular witness about the particular aspect is not a comfortable thing to do. At a properly conducted inquest I would think that the questioning would be very explicit rather than, as here, counsel virtually stating that Mrs Kelly's supply was the source of the co-proxamol allegedly swallowed by Dr Kelly.
Mr Dingemans' use of the words 'I think we are also going to hear that appears to be the source ...' is misleading and totally out of order in my view. I certainly don't think any later witnesses that particular day made any statement about the source of the co-proxamol.