Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - The failure to identify and question the "boat people"

This post consists largely of the text of a communication sent earlier today to the Attorney General.

Three for four individuals were in a boat on the Thames early in the morning of 18th July 2003 only a few hundred yards from Harrowdown Hill.

The Hutton Inquiry failed to identify or interview those individuals.

The title of the email was:
David Kelly - The failure to identify and interview the "boat people"

The text of the email was:

Mr McGinty,

This email is intended for the attention of the Attorney General in connection with a possible application to the High Court for an Order that an inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

The matter to which I refer in this communication is, I believe, further evidence of "insufficiency of inquiry" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988.

The "boat people" to which I refer make a cameo appearances in the oral evidence of Paul Chapman, one of the two searchers who found the body at Harrowdown Hill.

These three or four unidentified individuals were, arguably, the potential witnesses closest to the scene at Harrowdown Hill during the night of 17th to 18th July 2003.

They were neither identified nor questioned at the Hutton Inquiry.

The relevant part of the oral evidence of Paul Chapman to the Hutton Inquiry is on pages 22 and 23 here:

8 Q. Did you do the rest of the pathway down to the river?
9 A. Yes, we walked all the way down the pathway, which came
10 out to a gate just by the River Thames.
11 Q. Did you see anyone on that search?
12 A. Not until we reached the river and we met the people on
13 the boat.
14 Q. How many people were on the boat?
15 A. Either three or four, I cannot remember.
16 Q. Did you speak to them?
17 A. Yes, we did.
18 Q. What did you say to them?
19 A. They enquired what we were doing. We explained a search
20 team assisting the police, looking for a missing person,
21 and gave them a rough description of his age and said if
22 they saw anything could they contact the police.
23 Q. Had they seen anything?
24 A. They had heard the helicopter and seen some police
25 officers at some point previously.

1 Q. Right. What, police officers on an earlier part of the
2 search?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But they had not seen Dr Kelly at all?
5 A. No.

Paul Chapman refers to the presence of "three or four" individuals within a few hundred yards of where David Kelly's body was found.

It seems to me that several important points arise from this aspect of Paul Chapman's testimony:

1. It is clear that three or four unidentified individuals were present in close proximity (a matter of a few hundred yards) to the place where a body was found on Harrowdown Hill.

2. The unidentified individuals had clearly been present at the location for at least several hours before they spoke to Paul Chapman at some time after 8 o'clock on 18th July 2003. They refer to hearing "the helicopter". The relevant helicopter flight in the vicinity ceased, according to the "official narrative", at 04.45.

See the following for the Thames Valley Police account of the helicopter flight referred to for flight times:


3. These three or four individuals have never been publicly identified, so far as I'm aware.

4. There is no evidence presented at the Hutton Inquiry that Thames Valley Police conducted any inquiry as to the identity of those individuals.

5. The Hutton Inquiry made no inquiries as to whether the "boat people" may have had a malign purpose in being there or whether they could usefully shed light on the disappearance of David Kelly. It is wholly inappropriate and inadequate for the Inquiry to accept at face value Paul Chapman's cursory questioning re the "boat people" seeing or not seeing David Kelly.

6. The "boat people" had seen some individuals whom they, according to Paul Chapman, designated as "police officers". According to the evidence which constitutes the "official narrative" presented at the Hutton Inquiry no police officers were present in the relevant area at the likely time(s) referred to. Who was it that the "boat people" saw and when?

7. If the "boat people" spoke to "police officers" why did not Thames Valley Police take steps at that time to identify the "boat people"? On the other hand, if those individuals that the "boat people" saw or spoke to were not, in fact, police officers who were they and what were they doing during the night of 17th to 18th July 2003 in the vicinity of Harrowdown Hill?

8. Neither Lord Hutton nor counsel to the Hutton Inquiry showed any interest in these individuals known to be close to the scene of the discovery of the body, despite hearing Paul Chapman's oral evidence.

These points serve further to illustrate the astonishing insufficiency of inquiry by Lord Hutton, James Dingemans QC and/or Peter Knox.

Paul Chapman states elsewhere in his oral evidence that he made a statement to Thames Valley Police on 18th July 2003, completing the process sometime during the afternoon.

Accordingly, Thames Valley Police should have started inquiries immediately on 18th July 2003 to identify the "boat people".

This failure to identify the "boat people" is "insufficiency of inquiry" of breathtaking degree, in my view. Whether that apparent incompetence was premeditated or not is a matter which I consider should be investigated in detail by a Police force, other than Thames Valley Police.

I would be grateful if you would confirm receipt of this email and that the information contained in it will be considered by the Attorney General.

Thank you.

(Dr) Andrew Watt


  1. In his summing up Lord Hutton said "Mr Chapman then took one of the police officers, Detective Constable Coe, to show him where the body was. Mr Chapman showed Detective Constable Coe the body lying on its back"

    But When Mr Chapman first saw the body he described the position as "The body of a gentleman sitting up against a tree." And "He was sitting with his back up against a tree"

    So if Lord Hutton is correct (and not just obfuscating the evidence) the body must have been moved from sitting against a tree to flat on its back between Mr Chapman first seeing the body and when he took DC Coe to see the body (a matter of a few minutes).

    Someone must have moved the body and they must have had a good reason. Was it the boat people who moved the body? And what was their motive?

    Why didn't the police and/or Lord Hutton investigate this strange event that if true proves conclusively that 3rd persons were involved in the scene and the police and Lord Hutton have covered up the matter?

  2. Thanks to Andrew for publishing the helicopter flight logs they reveal a number of things not previously known. Amongst them;
    1) The helicopter that was above the Kelly home at 1am on the 18th is not referred to in the flight logs.
    2) The helicopter that refuelled must have refuelled at Brize Norton or Abingdon (by flight time and speed of aircraft). It returned to the scene at exactly half an hour before sun rise (the earliest the aircraft could land for legal and safety reasons) it then immediately returned to back to base.
    3) ACC Page’s request for the helicopter to be brought back into play appears to have been ignored.
    4)A Silver command suite had been established at Abingdon, ACC Page says he was based at Abingdon but no mention was made at the Hutton Inquiry regarding the Silver command suite or who Gold commander was or where they were based.
    Much has been kept hidden from the Hutton inquiry and the public, the question that needs to be asked is why.

  3. The other volunteer searcher, Louise Holmes, doesn't mention that the "boat people" had seen any police. This is quite understandable because she stated that she was rewarding her search dog Brock who "found" the boat people. At that moment she wouldn't I believe have been engaged in the conversation.

  4. Andrew,

    ACC Page had summoned resources from the underwater search unit because of the proximity to the River Thames. I wonder whether they encountered the shady "boat people"? If the frogmen did indeed arrive.

    There is also no mention of the nearby and isolated Thames Side Farm in the Hutton Inquiry or of its occupants providing statements.

    One also wonders what the mounted police were for
    ACC Page again...
    I had the mounted branch on the way from Milton Keynes but they had not yet arrived.
    Q. You had?
    A. The mounted branch. Because they obviously give you the ability to cover ground very quickly

    They certainly did arrive but one suspect that they were brought in to control encroachment by the press or onlookers rather than search for any bodies.

  5. Another strange “coincidence” after the helicopter refuelled and arrived “on scene” presumably Harrowdown Hill between 4.35 and 4.45am; Mrs Kelly had been ejected from her house at precisely the same time.
    “And a dog was put through our house. At 20 to 5 the following morning I was sitting on the lawn in my dressing gown while the dog went through the house.”
    Now this might seem a bit innocuous except for Mr Dinghams attempt to re-write history in this exchange with ACC Page makes me suspicious.
    And what was the outcome of your review?
    A. I asked for a further, more thorough search of the house and the outbuildings and the surrounding grounds to be made.
    Q. We have heard from Mrs Kelly in fact I think she said 4.30, it may have been 5.30 in the morning she has to go out of the house while a police dog goes through. That is as a result of your initiative, is it?
    A. Yes.
    Q. And that further search carried out, did you ask for anything else? A. Yes, I did. I asked for a number of key individuals to meet me at Abingdon police station at 5 am.
    Could it be that when the package was delivered to Harrowdown Hill a quick phone call was made to confirm delivery which prompted the next phase of the plan, the collection of co-proxomal packs and knife from the Kelly home without Mrs Kelly or he daughters witnessing their removal.