Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Why did the Kelly family visit the Coroner?

The Hutton Inquiry transcripts have intriguing little nuggets buried in the most unlikely places.

Until yesterday I was unaware that the Kelly family had visited the Coroner.

See page 4 of the transcript of Mr Gompertz's remarks made on the morning of 25th September 2003:

6 The media frenzy continued after his death with
7 reporters and photographers at the gate of the family
8 home, and photographers lying in wait when the family
9 visited the coroner.

So far as I'm aware this is the only mention of the Kelly family visiting the coroner.

Clearly, the visit took place before 25th September 2003.

What was the purpose of the visit made by the Kelly family to the Coroner?

We're not told.

Could it have been subtly to pressure the coroner into agreeing to adjourn the inquest?

Or was there some more legitimate purpose?


  1. Mr Gompertz is the only one who seems to get under the skin of Lord Hutton. It is instructive to read the exchanges with the evasive and fumbling Richard Hatfield, Kelly's alleged "line manager".

  2. Andrew - what immedately came to mind as described by Mr Gompertz was when the family allegedly went to identify the body late morning Saturday 19th July 2003, when there would have been a scrum of journalists outside Westfield. Is that when they met the Coroner?

  3. Felix, although it's possible that Mrs Kelly and a daughter met the coroner on the 19th I feel that Mr Gompertz wouldn't have referred to that because the primary purpose, so far as the public narrative went, was to identify the body at that time.

    I'm under the impression that it was just one daughter accompanying Mrs Kelly to the mortuary. The visit to Nicholas Gardiner would be by the whole family I think.

    There may have been a coroner's officer there to witness the ID - I don't know whether that would be a legal requirement or whether a police officer would do.

    Mr Hoon visited the Kellys on the 23rd. The report in the Daily Telegraph on this indicates a considerable media presence at that time. My guess is that journalists and photographers would be thinning out after the first week following discovery of the body.

    I would suggest that the meeting with the coroner was sometime in the first seven days.