Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Who made the initial phone call?

There is a huge number of gaps in even the most basic evidence about the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly.

One of the most straightforward to resolve, in principle, was who made the phone call from the Kelly home to Thames Valley Police at 23.40 on 17th July 2003.

Janice Kelly gave this testimony to Hutton on the morning of Monday 1st September 2003, pages 51 and 52:

24 Q. And who called the police?
25 A. I think it was Sian, I am not sure. It may have been

1 Rachel.
2 Q. The police are called. Do they turn up?
3 A. They turn up. Three of them come with a missing persons
4 form to fill in. I explained the situation that David
5 had been in and it seemed immediately to go up to
6 Chief Constable level.
7 Q. What time did the police arrive? The call I think you
8 told us was about 11.
9 A. Yes. Within 15 minutes they were there.
10 Q. Three turned up?
11 A. Yes.

So it wasn't Janice Kelly who made the initial phone call.

Was it Rachel? She gave evidence a few hours later and wasn't asked.

It doesn't seem likely to have been Rachel. Here is the final part of her evidence given on the afternoon of Monday 1st September 2003 at pages 149 and 150:

16 along the lane. Then I came back to the car and it
17 occurred to me for the first time then that Dad might
18 not be coming home and I thought about looking in the
19 barns, but I did not because I was too nervous. I drove
20 back up the hill, by which time I was really quite upset
21 and I remember phoning both my sisters.
22 Q. I think we have heard about the conversations that your
23 sisters and mother had with the police.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is there anything else relating to the circumstances of

1 your father's death that you can assist his Lordship
2 with?
3 A. No, not in terms of evidence, no.

Was it Rachel? Probably not. In her earlier evidence about the evening of 17th July 2003 she gives great detail about what she does. Yet mentions nothing about making the phone call to the Police.

[In passing, notice the fiction that James Dingemans introduces that we have "heard about the conversations that your sisters ... had with the police". There is no such evidence on the Hutton Inquiry site that I'm aware of.]

Was it Sian who made the phone call? She gave no evidence to Hutton. Why?

Was it someone else?

If so, who? And why might that have been concealed?


  1. Andrew

    I was always astonished that Mrs Kelly couldn't remember who had made the phone call. It was one of those moments one ought never to forget.

    Just as perplexing, if you read the transcript closely, is the strange behaviour of Sian and Richard. Apparently, Mrs Kelly says her other daughter Sian ring (not is run) and Sian and partner Richard decide to come right over (not long after 6.30pm). Extraordinarily, they don't seem to visit the Kelly home first, but start scanning bus shelters and the like (no doubt near to Southmoor) and arrive after 11 (pm)!! (distance not over 70 miles)

    There is no witness statement for Richard Andrew.

    Sgt Geoff Webb states he interviewed Mrs Kelly, Rachel and Sian the next morning at 7.15am to find out where Dr Kelly might have gone and why. I would have thought the Missing Persons delegation of THREE POLICEMEN would have elicited this 8 hours previously.

  2. Agreed Felix that the missing person delegation would have asked about where Dr Kelly might have gone. It must surely be almost the first question to pose, possibly after "when did you last see your husband Mrs Kelly?".

    You would imagine too that the Kelly family would have imparted some information about where Dr Kelly might have gone before Sgt Morris got the helicopter out. That's expensive kit to fly around!

  3. Felix and Brian,

    It's clear that TVP knew very early "where David Kelly might have gone". After all, we know that they sent up a helicopter to follow a very specific search path.

  4. Andrew, I notice that Tom Baldwin in The Times of 19 July 2003 writes

    "When he had not returned by midnight one of his three daughters rang police to report his disappearance."

    So who told him?