Friday, 10 December 2010

The death of David Kelly - The evasiveness of Thames Valley Police

This post focusses on an evasive reply from Thames Valley Police about the current state of the investigation into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

I reproduce below the response from Thames Valley Police to a Freedom of Information request. My questions are in italics.

Dear Dr Watt

Reference No: RFI2010000758

Thank you for your request for information dated 07/11/2010 which for clarity I have repeated below followed by our response.

1. Have Thames Valley Police closed the investigation into the death of Dr. David Kelly?

2. On what date was the investigation closed, what were the reasons that it was closed and who made the decision to close it?

There are no ongoing Police enquiries into the death of Dr. Kelly. Our enquiries were substantially complete by the time ACC Page gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry on the 23rd September 2003. Mr Page’s evidence can be found at 195.1 at:

Please contact me quoting the above reference number if you would like to discuss this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

Can you tell from that answer when or whether the investigation was closed?

No, neither can I?

Why are Thames Valley Police being so evasive about it?

Remember that when David Jones MP asked similar questions in Parliament, he too got an evasive answer which I discussed here: The death of Dr. David Kelly - When did the Police investigation close?.

Clearly Thames Valley Police are very nervous about honestly stating when the investigation into the death of David Kelly closed (if indeed it has closed).

Why might that be?

The following are some possibilities that occur to me.

1. The investigation is still "open", although Thames Valley Police are currently doing nothing about it.

2. Thames Valley Police closed the investigation before the Hutton Inquiry reported.

3. Thames Valley Police closed the investigation before the Coroner declined to reconvene the inquest in March 2004.


  1. Thames Valley Police have got themselves in a very difficult position.
    As and when the poo finally hits the fan and a proper inquest finds the cause of death to be murder and not suicide it will be TVP who have to pick up the pieces, it will be TVP who will have to explain why they did what they did and why they failed to do what some will say they should have done.
    Many of the police officers who worked on this case are still serving police officers and some are still with TVP. All but a few will be in line for some serious criticism.
    On the other hand the real culprits in all this, their counterparts in MI5, MI6 and Special Branch will be long gone, they won’t be named and shamed, they won’t have to explain, because they won’t be there.
    Unfortunately in this country anonymity and immunity from prosecution etc is always afforded to those who least deserve it.

  2. Quote: "Many of the police officers who worked on this case are still serving police officers and some are still with TVP. All but a few will be in line for some serious criticism."

    Will ex-DC Coe be required to give evidence if there is an Inquest? I believe he is now retired but occasionally sits in during Police interviews with people on a charge at the station.

    The interview between him and Rebecca Camber
    on 9th August 2010 for the Daily Mail makes one wonder if there is more info which wasn't presented at the Hutton enquiry. The comments below the article are certainly worth reading.

    Also, when I first read the original article on 10th August 2010 I noticed and was concerned about a reference to Coe's 'modest £200,000 cottage in Wantage' (or words to that effect) but in later Mail web-searches of the same article there is no reference to his home at all. I wonder why? I believe that he has since moved house; perhaps he was in Police married quarters until recently.

    Any thoughts?

  3. Sylvia - I think Wantage arose from DC Coe's cryptic statement at the Hutton Inquiry: "At which station are you stationed?" "I am stationed at Wantage in the Thames Valley". (highly improbable). This is not a reference to Thames Valley Police, note. Perhaps he WAS just stating where he lived, i.e. he is stationed in his cottage but works for Special Branch.

  4. Felix,

    There is a Police station in Wantage:

    At least there is a Police station there in 2010. I assume that there was also one there in 2003.

    FWIW my current hypothesis is that DC Coe worked for Special Branch.

  5. Andrew

    I knew there was a Police Station there - it was outside which that A/Supt Dave Purnell gave his statements on 18 July:
    'Reading a statement outside Wantage police station, Acting Superintendent Dave Purnell said: "The formal identification of the body that we found in Harrowdown Hill will not take place until tomorrow.' (I wonder why???)
    "What we can say is that the description of the man found there matches the description of Dr David Kelly."'

    and press statement on Saturday 19 July that
    '"Details from the post-mortem examination, completed yesterday morning after the identification of the body at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital by his widow ended the mystery over how, if not why, the microbiologist died.

    Purnell stressed there was 'no indication any other party was involved', although investigations were continuing."'
    (Observer report)

    I just wouldn't expect detectives to be based there.

    I have just noticed that the "dark actors" email from Judy Miller was immediately leaked (BBC online, 16.57 hrs Satuarday 19 July 2003)
    :"In an e-mail reportedly sent to a New York Times journalist hours before his death, Dr Kelly had apparently warned of "many dark actors playing games".
    This email emerged before it was extracted from Dr Kelly's computer because Judy Miller (who went to prison later) leaked it
    According to The Sunday Mail,Glasgow 20/7/2003: Yesterday, Miller said she believed the "dark forces" Dr Kelly was referring to were in the secret services and Ministry of Defence."
    Would you believe Miller? How did this email emerge? What was the real purpose of its leaking given Miller's connections and reliablity?