Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - The erased events of 18th July 2003

One of the peculiarities of the evidence given by Janice Kelly to the Hutton Inquiry on the morning of Monday 1st September 2003 is that it peters out abruptly during the morning of 18th July 2003.

One of the effects of that abrupt end to Janice Kelly's evidence is that a convenient veil is drawn over some events that may have been inconvenient to Janice Kelly and inconvenient to Lord Hutton in reaching his bland conclusions on the death of David Kelly, that David Kelly committed suicide and that nobody could have known or have done anything to prevent it.

We know that Janice Kelly talked to the journalist Tom Mangold on the morning of 18th July 2003. As a result of that conversation with Janice Kelly, Tom Mangold was on the lunchtime news 3 hours or so later, as reported in the Guardian in mid afternoon of 18th July: Body matches Kelly's description.

Mr Mangold told ITV News: "She [Dr Kelly's wife] told me he had been under considerable stress, that he was very very angry about what had happened at the committee, that he wasn't well, that he had been to a safe house, he hadn't liked that, he wanted to come home.

"She didn't use the word depressed, but she said he was very very stressed and unhappy about what had happened and this was really not the kind of world he wanted to live in."

So, according to Tom Mangold's statements to ITV News, Janice Kelly had told him that David Kelly had been to a safe house and that "this was really not the kind of world [David Kelly] wanted to live in".

Lord Hutton concluded that David Kelly had committed suicide. Surely it was relevant to know whether or not he had been seemingly forced to go to a safe house and to establish what had happened there.

Another inconvenient part of what Janice Kelly told Tom Mangold is the claimed statement, "this was really not the kind of world [David Kelly] wanted to live in".

If David Kelly had said that to Janice Kelly, why did she wait more than 8 hours before phoning the Police on 17th July? It makes no sense.

Surely a statement to the effect "this was really not the kind of world [David Kelly] wanted to live in" should have potentially rung some alarm bells in Janice Kelly's mind? Yet, according to the bland Hutton narrative, the bizarre 8 hour plus delay by the Kelly family before contacting the Police is blithely ignored.

Janice Kelly should have been asked about these issues at Hutton.

In passing, I should mention that in his evidence to Hutton on the morning of Thursday 4th September 2003 Tom Mangold conveniently can't remember much about what Janice Kelly said to him:

8 Q. Did you speak to Mrs Kelly on 17th or 18th July?
9 A. Yes, I did, yes. I received a phone call on that day,
10 somewhere around 9 to 9.15, telling me that David Kelly
11 was missing.
12 Q. And you then spoke to Mrs Kelly?
13 A. Yes. I sat down and thought about that quite carefully;
14 and then I spoke to Jan, yes.
15 Q. And what did she tell you?
16 A. Well, I had very mixed emotions on that day. I knew the
17 moment I got the phone call at 9 o'clock in the morning,
18 I knew that he had to be dead because David Kelly did
19 not go missing. If he was missing, he was dead. So
20 I had a slightly difficult phone call with Janice. She
21 was still fairly upbeat and felt that he must have had
22 a heart attack or a stroke and was -- she felt he was
23 lying in a field, you know, waiting to be found.
24 Q. Did she say anything about how he had appeared over the
25 last few days?

1 A. Yes, she said he had been very unhappy. As I recall it,
2 I did not make a note of the conversation, I was a bit
3 emotional myself at the time, but she said something to
4 the effect that the FAC hearing had not been the
5 catharsis he had hoped it would be, I think that is what
6 she said, and that he had been unhappy and depressed.
7 Q. Did she say anything about him being angry?
8 A. I think she may have done, yes.
9 Q. We know you wrote about this in one of the pieces in the
10 Evening Standard, that is how I asked you the question.
11 A. Yes.

So, we are asked to believe, Tom Mangold has forgotten about the safe house and forgotten about David Kelly saying this wasn't the kind of world he wanted to live in.

How very convenient that Mr. Mangold's memory seems to fail and that the Hutton Inquiry counsel, so we are asked to believe, wasn't aware of what Tom Mangold had told ITV News.

Equally conveniently, the abrupt end to Janice Kelly's evidence allows a veil to be drawn over what she said to Judith Miller or her New York Times colleague which was included in this article: British Arms Expert at Center of Dispute on Iraq Data Is Found Dead, His Wife Says.

Notice the "London, July 18" dateline.

Mrs. Kelly said the police had confirmed that the body was her husband's, and that the cause of death was suicide. She declined to say what led the police to that conclusion, saying they had asked her not to discuss details of his death.

Janice Kelly is quoted as saying on 18th July 2003 that David Kelly had committed suicide and that the Police had told her this.

The postmortem didn't finish until shortly after midnight on 18th July 2003. So what basis did the Police have for a claim on 18th July that David Kelly had committed suicide?

The abrupt stop to Janice Kelly's evidence allowed that disturbing anomaly to be swept under the carpet.

I'll return in a future post to the issue of the "suicide story" on 18th July 2003.


  1. Also,as reported by Warren Hoge in the NYT, on what basis did Thames Valley Police confirm to Mrs Kelly that it was her husband? Dental records??
    "Mrs. Kelly said the police had confirmed that the body was her husband's"

  2. "this was really not the kind of world he wanted to live in":Tom Mangold to ITV.
    "On the day David killed himself, having earlier told Jan this was really not a world he cared to live in": Julie Flint in a carefully timed Observer article of 31 August 2003. Flint spoke to Mrs Kelly on the afternoon of the 18th July, around 2pm. Was she also told that or is she recycling Mangold's story?

  3. Mrs Kelly does not mention the phone call from Julie Flint - another erased event.
    "'It's a terrible day, Julie,' she said, several times."
    This was sometime after 2pm, perhaps 3pm, before any formal identification. There was no identification on the body when found.

  4. According to the Sun newspaper
    Mangold added:
    “He wears Clarks shoes, saggy comfortable pullovers and silver-rimmed glasses.”

    Actually this sentence is lifted from his book Plague Wars,p307.

    The Sun quotes (Sat 19 July) friends and family:
    His sister-in-law Sandra Vawdrey, 48, said: “I think the politicians are going to have a lot of questions to answer.

    “We’ve just been watching Tony Blair on the news offering his sympathy to the family ? but it’s a bit late.

    “We weren’t impressed, to say the least. It’s been a traumatic time for all of us.”

    Niece Wendy Vawdrey, in her late 20s, added: “The whole family is deeply distressed. I heard it on the radio and just couldn’t believe it.”

    Dr Kelly’s daughter Ellen, 30, who lives in Scotland, was too upset to comment.

    Ada Gunn, 83, who lived opposite Dr Kelly’s picturesque £500,000 Oxfordshire cottage for six years, said: “I hope Tony Blair and his cronies are not able to rest in their graves over this.

    “That questioning session is obviously what pushed this poor man to his death.”