Wednesday, 7 September 2011

DC2368 COE

'I wish to further that I showed the body to DC2368 COE at 09.40 hrs.'  This sentence comes from the police witness statement of search volunteer Paul Chapman as quoted in Annex TVP1 on the Attorney General's site. (I'm assuming that in fact the word "state" or similar should follow the word "further").

It's the really small details that so often can be telling and here I'm fascinated by DC Coe's number being quoted.  This is the link to Annex TVP1 by the way

Mr Dingemans is taking Paul Chapman's evidence at the Inquiry and after ascertaining that the two volunteer searchers go back with a police officer to Abingdon to make their statements we have this exchange:

Q. You made your statement and then go off to work?
A. It was mid afternoon by the time we had finished there. I actually had a day off as I was going away to cub camp for the weekend. 

From a Freedom of Information request we now know that DC Coe was logged out of the outer cordon at 11.47 am which is much much later than we were led to believe.
Bearing in mind that Mr Chapman went with DC Coe to the body who more suitable some might ask than DC Coe to "assist" Paul Chapman in producing an accurate statement of his involvement in the events of that morning and after he has had time to return to Abingdon?

With DC Coe being in plain clothes how would Paul Chapman have known his number.  Possibly it was on Coe's ID card and Paul recalled it.  I don't really think that's likely.  If DC Coe took the statement perhaps Mr Coe's number was then visible.  Perhaps Mr Coe added his number to the statement almost as a reflex action; after all Coe was well into his fifties at the time and would be very used to thinking of his number as a means of identification I suggest.

My supposition outlined above about who took the statement is speculation on my part.  I just find it extremely odd that Paul Chapman would have said 'DC2368 COE'


  1. I suspect like other statements taken that morning, as Felix might say, were "taken" and not given.

    This is an old trick where the police officer writes down what the witness says (or what he/she wants the witness to say) then at the end it is read back quickly, the witness is asked if they agree, normally they do, the statement is signed and a new version of the truth is committed to the evidence file.

    'I wish to further that I showed the body to DC2368 COE at 09.40 hrs.' is pure police speak not words you would expect from a man from the Pru.

  2. LL, bear in mind too that it had already been quite a lengthy and traumatic day for Paul Chapman, the day he had off to get ready for cub camp that weekend. He had been paged just after 5 am according to his testimony. I imagine that he was pleased to just get the statement out of the way.

    In his police statement we have 'He was lying on his back with his feet towards me with blood covering his left arm. He was flat on the ground'. Maybe the second sentence there, adding emphasis to the first was inserted by the helpful police officer - just to make everything clear.

  3. It is worth repeating here the perceptive observation of Lancashire Lad
    at the foot of Andrew Watt's Chilcot's Cheating Us post of 10 June 2011

    "Something isn’t right here Paul Chapman at the Hutton Inquiry said he met DC Coe 2 or 3 minutes after making the call to report finding the body (9.20).." et seq.

  4. Mr Knox was quick off the mark here when he was questioning Louise Holmes

    A. I walked as best as I could back out the path I walked in.
    Q. I take it from that there was a specific path you had walked in; was it actually a track?
    A. No, there were no tracks in the wooded area we were searching, no definite tracks anyway.
    Q. Were there any tracks, as it were, around the wooded area you were able to see, where the body was, or had the person obviously walked in through the woods?
    A. Not that I remember seeing, but ...
    Q. When you got back to Mr Chapman, what happened next?

    But its later on that her evidence highlights the veracity (or otherwise) of TVP version

    Q. Did you meet the police officers in the woods or after you got out of the woods?
    A. No, on the track, just between the woods and the car.
    Q. What did you tell the police officers?
    A. They identified to us who they were. We said who we were and we were involved in the search and we had found the body, and they went with Paul to see.
    Q. So in other words, Paul Chapman goes back with the police to show them where the body is?
    A. Yes.
    Q. What did you do?
    A. I went back to the car to sort the dog out and then when I got to the car further police officers and personnel

    From the AG’s TVP1

    DC Coe went with Paul Chapman leaving DC Shields and PC A and Louise Holmes behind. DC Shields and PC A did not go to the scene at all and did not see the body

    Paul Chapman’s evidence at the Hutton farrago

    Q. Did you show them the body?
    A. Yes. We walked back up the hill with the three of them and then they decided as they got a bit closer to the edge of the wood that I needed only to take one of the officers in, so I took DC Coe in to show him where the body was.

  5. Again from TVP 3

    As the officers went towards the river they came across the two civilian searchers (Paul Chapman and Louise Holmes) who had found the body and radioed for help. This was a chance occurrence. At this time they were at the foot of Harrowdown Hill, a considerable distance from the body location.

    So TVP have Shields and Harry no closure to the body than the foot of Harrowdown Hill and Chapman has them close to the edge of the wood.

    I know who I believe but I also believe Shields and Harry were in plain clothes so if the 2 police officers that were present with Coe when Franklin, Sawyer, Dadd, V Hunt and Bartlett arrived were in uniform or combat fatigues then they were not Shields and Harry but they got there before the Franklin et al

  6. Er why did only Coe accompany Chapman to the body? The other two not curious? Or perhaps they had seen it all before?

    Yes, Chapman was certainly not at the foot of the hill when he bumped into the gang of three if he had only made the phone call a couple of minutes before.
    Actually, Chapman says this (of bumping into the three police officers):
    "No, because this was only 2 or 3 minutes after I had made the phone call"

    Actually, the only phone call Chapman made was to his control and he then had two calls back within a couple of minutes so that is all the time gone already and Chapman is still in the woods!

    TVP3 is thus almost certainly false.

  7. Regarding the body position when first discovered TVP in effect rubbished the observation of Louise Holmes in Annex TVP3. Now in TVP1 they have done a similar thing regarding her statement that Paul went back up the track with all three police officers whilst she returned to her car.

    Her police witness statement on this point is once again matched by the testimony she delivered to Mr Knox at the Inquiry.

    In his testimony at Hutton Paul Chapman reckoned it would take about ten minutes to return to the car. Using the measurement facility offered by Google Earth I reckon that the distance from body to car would have been almost exactly half a mile; a walking time of 10 minutes or just under (going slightly downhill) seems to me to be very reasonable.

  8. Brian

    This is quite a useful too, particularly when looking at helicopter flights (where they may have landed and taken off from)