Monday, 23 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Unreliability of the evidence of ACC Page regarding the dental records

This post consists largely of the text of a communication sent to the Attorney General on 13th May 2011.

The addressee was Kevin McGinty of the Attorney General's Office.

The title of the email was:

David Kelly - Unreliability of evidence given by ACC Michael Page

The text of the email to the Attorney General's office 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.

In this email I draw to the Attorney General's attention new evidence which casts significant doubt on the reliability of one section of the evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry by Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page.

I consider that the new facts cast doubt on all of ACC Page's evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

It seems to me that, at a minimum, the new evidence constitutes "new facts or evidence" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988. Arguably, the concern referred to may also constitute "fraud" in the meaning of Section 13. I can also see arguments that "insufficiency of inquiry" and "irregularity of proceedings" may apply since questions on forensic evidence were put to someone not qualified to answer the questions with the result that the information in question was not adequately explored and the true position was not established.

In addition to the Section 13 concerns, I consider that the information I present is prima facie evidence of "concealment of evidence" which I understand to be an element of the offence of perverting the course of justice. Alternatively or additionally the giving of inaccurate evidence to a judicial inquiry may correspond to an "offence akin to perjury" which I understand also to be an element of the offence of perverting the course of justice. See for example


The new evidence which I present arises from consideration of a recent Freedom of Information Request / Response from Thames Valley Police and identifying significant discrepancies between it and the oral evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry by Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page on 23rd September 2003.

The full text of the FOI Response is below my signature. I'll interpolate my understanding of its content in the main text of this email. No doubt the Attorney General will wish to seek expert assessment of whether or not my interpretation of the FOI Response is accurate.

Assistant Chief Constable Page's evidence to the Hutton Inquiry on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd September 2003 is here:

The relevant part of that evidence, relating to the disappearance and reappearance of Dr. Kelly's dental records, is at pages 202 and 203 and is quoted here for convenience:

9 Q. Were you ever contacted by Dr Kelly's dentist?
10 A. Yes, we did receive a telephone call from Dr Kelly's
11 dentist, shortly -- I cannot recall whether it was on
12 the day that he died or the day after but we did receive
13 a call, yes.
14 Q. What was that about?
15 A. The doctor -- the dentist, rather, expressed some
16 concerns. Upon hearing of Dr Kelly's death on Friday
17 18th July, she was aware he was a patient and apparently
18 the practice has a process whereby patients are
19 contacted shortly before an appointment. She was aware
20 that he was due an appointment shortly and she did not
21 want to cause distress to Dr Kelly or his family, so she
22 went to the filing cabinet to find his notes of his
23 dental records and they were missing.
24 Q. So what did the police do?
25 A. We carried out a full examination of the surgery and, in

1 particular, one window which the dentist was concerned
2 may not have been secure. We found no trace of anything
3 untoward either in the surgery or on the window.
4 Q. Did you carry out any further investigations as a result
5 of this?
6 A. Yes, the dental records -- we had another call from the
7 dentist to say that the dental records had reappeared on
8 the Sunday in the place in the filing cabinet where they
9 should have been. We forensically examined those and
10 could find no evidence of extraneous fingerprints or
11 whatever on that file. However, upon hearing about
12 this, and again I stress because I am a police officer
13 and probably inherently suspicious, because dental
14 records are a means of identification it did prompt me
15 to take the extra precaution of having DNA checks
16 carried out to confirm that the body we had was the body
17 of Dr Kelly, notwithstanding the fact that that had been
18 identified by his family.
19 Q. Did you have those DNA checks carried out?
20 A. I did and they confirmed that it was the body of
21 Dr Kelly.

There are two specific causes for concern regarding the evidence given by ACC Page.

1. In his evidence he indicates that two telephone calls (or other communications) were received from Dr. Kelly's dentist. However the FOI Response indicates that a single call was received. ACC Page's evidence does not appear to accurately reflect the facts stated in the FOI Response.

2. In his evidence ACC Page indicates that there were no "extraneous fingerpints" on the dental records whereas, as I read the FOI Response, there are six prints which do not match the elimination prints. I take the latter to be the fingerprints of members of staff of the dental surgery. In other words there are six fingerprints on Dr. Kelly's dental records file which cannot be identified (or have not been identified). Therefore, contrary to ACC Page's unqualified assertion, one cannot exclude the possibility of the dental records having been removed and replaced by person or persons unknown.

With regard to the first point, ACC Page invents a phone call on or around Friday 18th July 2003 which, it seems, did not take place. In itself that may not be material. However, the lack of care taken by ACC Page to give accurate evidence is worrying since it is unknown whether this invented phone call is an isolated slip on his part or part of a pattern of misleading and/or inaccurate evidence from him. If, as is demonstrated, he has invented a narrative on this point which appears not to correspond to the truth then one has to ask how extensive such a casual, careless or deceptive approach to the truth might be in the generality of ACC Page's evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

Were other parts of ACC Page's evidence made up as he went along?

With regard to the second point ACC Page makes the following unqualified statement:

9 should have been. We forensically examined those and
10 could find no evidence of extraneous fingerprints or
11 whatever on that file. However, upon hearing about

In my interpretation, ACC Page's statement to the Hutton Inquiry about that forensic evidence was untrue.

How many other times does ACC Page make false statements about the forensic evidence? We don't know.

If ACC Page's statement to the effect that there was no evidence of third party involvement at the dental surgery is untrue, might his statements purporting to exclude the presence of third parties at Harrowdown Hill be comparably unreliable and/or contrary to the evidence?

If that were the case the credibility of the "suicide hypothesis" accepted by Lord Hutton seems to me to collapse irretrievably.

The systematic "insufficiency of inquiry" and "irregularity of proceedings" at the Hutton Inquiry regarding forensic evidence make it impossible to exclude the possibility that other supposed forensic "evidence" given to Hutton is equally unreliable.

Consequently, I consider that the reliability of all ACC Page's evidence to the Hutton Inquiry comes into question and needs detailed and thorough re-exanination.

I suggest scrutiny of one dimension of ACC Page's evidence can, in the first instance, most appropriately be done in a properly conducted rigorous and open inquest where testimony on forensic and other scientific matters should be given on oath by appropriately qualified experts.

Given the concerns expressed in this email about the evidence given by the most senior Thames Valley Police officer who gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry I believe the Attorney General has a clear duty in the interests of justice to apply to the High Court for an Order that an inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

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

Thank you.

(Dr) Andrew Watt


Text of the relevant Freedom of Information Request / Response

Reference No: RFI2011000301

I write in connection with your request for information dated 18th April 2011 which I have repeated below with our response to each point.

1. Were Dr David Kelly's dental records ever reported to Thames Valley Police as being missing and, if so, on what date?

Our records show that at 22.21hrs on Sunday 20th July 2003 the dental surgery reported that they had been unable to locate the notes on Friday (18/07/03) but that they were present that day (Sunday). The notes were therefore in the possession of the dentist before the Police were made aware.

2. On what date was it officially established by Thames Valley Police that Dr. David Kelly's dental records had been found?

As above

3. Were the folder containing Dr Kelly's records, and the records themselves, ever checked by Thames Valley Police (or, to your knowledge, any other organisation) for fingerprints and/or DNA?

The dental records of Dr Kelly were examined for fingerprints as were the covers for the records either side of his. DNA was an inappropriate method for this type of item.

4. If so, on what date did this happen, and were any fingerprints and/or DNA found on the folder or on the records?

This is a staged process spanning from 15th – 18th August 2003. A total of 15 marks were revealed for photography. Two marks were revealed on the outside cover of an adjacent set of patient records, neither of these marks was of a usable quality. No marks were revealed on the adjacent cover. The remaining thirteen marks all came from Dr Kelly’s record’s folder and contents. Five of these were unusable and two were eliminated to a member of staff.

The remaining six marks were of sufficient quality to be checked against elimination prints. These were all negative. None of the six marks were of sufficient quality to be permanently loaded on to the national database. All six marks were filed.

5. Was it possible positively to identify any of the fingerprints or DNA?

As above

6. If so, whose fingerprints or DNA was found?

As above

Please contact me quoting the above reference number if you would like to discuss this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hopgood | Information Compliance Officer | Telephone 01865 846321 | Internal 700 6321 | Address Thames Valley Police HQ, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxon OX5 2NX


  1. I agree with you, Andrew, that this is further evidence that indicates that a full inquest is, now, not only desirable but essential.

    But this and other evidence regarding Mr Page's statements at the Hutton inquiry goes further than highlighting the need for an inquest. Evidence now exists that ACC Page and others have conspired to pervert the course of Justice over the unnatural death of Dr David Kelly.

    Mr Page and other police officers should be arrested and interviewed under caution in relation to the lies that they told to the Hutton inquiry.

    Police officers lied at the Hutton inquiry to cover up the real circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death, these officers, potentially, committed very serious crimes, if convicted they could face life imprisonment.

  2. I would have thought this sequence of events was worthy of a statement being taken by the police from this dentist. Is there any evidence of that being done and passed to the Hutton Inquiry?

  3. Felix,

    As far as I'm aware the name of Dr. Kelly's dentist has never been disclosed.

    It's possible that one of the witness statements on the Hutton web site relates to this, but it's difficult to know at present.

  4. LL,

    I agree that this should be formally investigated.

    Not surprisingly, Thames Valley Police of 2010-2011 are reluctant to investigate possible perversion of the course of justice by Thames Valley Police officers in 2003.

    I guess they don't think it would be good for the force's image.