Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Death of David Kelly - Was he right handed? How well could he use his right hand?

The incised wounds found by Dr. Nicholas Hunt on the body of Dr. David Kelly were stated to be on the left wrist of Dr. David Kelly.

In an individual who is not ambidextrous, the likely scenario for self-inflicted incision of the wrist is that the dominant hand holds a bladed implement and makes an incision (or, more usually, multiple incisions) in the non-dominant wrist.

Was Dr. Kelly right handed?

How well could he use his right hand?

Could he have used his right hand to incise his left wrist to the extent assumed by Dr. Nicholas Hunt?

As far as I can trace, the Hutton Inquiry asked only the first of these basic questions.

The Witness Statement of Karen Lesley Roberts states the following:

On Saturday 19th July 2003, I was on duty performing the role of Family Liaison Officer for Thames Valley Police.

On this date I spoke to Sian KELLY, the daughter of Dr. David KELLY who confirmed that her father was right handed.

There is no record of WPC Roberts having asked Sian Kelly if Dr. Kelly had any factor which might have limited the extent to which he could use his right hand.

That omission seems to me to be a very material one.

Direct evidence on the capabilities of David Kelly's right arm is sparse, so far as I can trace.

One newspaper report, David Kelly's closest female confidante on why he COULDN'T have killed himself, indicates that an injury to his right arm would have prevented David Kelly killing himself by incising his left wrist.

The post mortem report of the examination carried out by Dr. Nicholas Hunt, see Dr Kelly post mortem and toxicology reports, is so far as I can see silent on the matter.

This raises the disturbing possibility that Dr. Kelly had a significant injury to his right elbow which Dr. Hunt missed while carrying out the postmortem examination.

If a significant injury to Dr. Kelly's right elbow existed and had functional effects to the extent that it limited the use of his right hand, then Dr. Hunt's conclusion of self-inflicted injury is seriously undermined.

If Dr. Hunt overlooked the putative injury to Dr. Kelly's right elbow he was sloppy.

If Dr. Hunt was aware of the putative elbow injury but failed to consider and report the possible significance of the injury to Dr. Kelly's right elbow then the deficiencies in his behaviour are much more serious.


  1. Dr Kelly is shown carrying his briefcase in his RIGHT hand in one news clip I have seen. That is neither here nor there, but indicates he had load bearing strength there.Not a scientific observation though!

  2. Felix,

    I've also subsequently found a short piece of video. In that David Kelly is seen walking with his briefcase in his left hand then switches it to his right, possibly in preparation for opening a door. The video does not show for certain if that is what he is about to do.

    It's clearly not an "all or nothing" disability.