Friday, 27 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - What was PC Franklin wanting to say?

In the evidence given by PC Franklin there is a fascinating question and answer here:

11 Q. And is there anything else surrounding the circumstances
12 of Dr Kelly's death that you can assist his Lordship
13 with?
14 A. Not with this initial part, sir, no.

It seems to me to be at least plausible that PC Franklin was intending to (or expecting to?) talk about some other matter(s) after "this initial part".

Did counsel to the Hutton Inquiry deliberately terminate PC Franklin's evidence part way through the scope of his written witness statement?

If so, why?

Was PC Franklin expecting to go on to tell the Hutton Inquiry about the "secret helicopter landing"? See The Death of David Kelly - The Secret Helicopter Landing of 18th July 2003.

If my speculation is correct, why might counsel to the Hutton Inquiry elect not to disclose the "secret helicopter landing"?

The quoted evidence form PC Franklin comes from page 42 his oral testimony given during the morning of Tuesday 2nd September 2003.


  1. Oddly, Mr Dingemans asks PC Franklin about a helicopter , albeit one searching the previous night before he was even called in. Quite what the relevance of that is I have no idea.

    Q. We have heard evidence about a helicopter out searching the night before. Had you heard about that?
    A. No

  2. Felix,

    Brian Spencer has been writing about helicopters here: Paul Chapman was asked about a helicopter at the Inquiry.

    I find it fascinating that counsel asks PC Franklin about a helicopter flight that happened when he wasn't at the scene but fails to ask him about the "secret helicopter landing" not many yards from where his Land Rover was parked.

    It's almost as if counsel didn't want the existence of the "secret helicopter flight" to be known about publicly.

    It has similarities to the occurrence mentioned in Brian Spencer's post about Paul Chapman being asked by counsel about helicopters when counsel ought to have known that no helicopter was around and not being asked when he ought to have known that a helicopter was around.

  3. The final question produced rather bland responses but also some absolute gems; Mr Coe I am sure could have offered a little more, I wonder what Dr Hunt could have come up with in his role as a witness instead of a pathologist. I am sure Mr Franklin could have told us precisely what he was doing between 9.28am (when the outer cordon was established) and 12.06pm when it is alleged DCI Young first attended the scene and the search was allowed to commence. Mr Sawyer appears to know something that would not assist the inquiry. Mr Bartlett comments on the lack of blood at the scene but the best response came from Ms Hunt when she was asked about the amount of blood at the scene; Mr Dinghams got very cross with her for answering the question that he had asked.
    But that was the whole point of the Hutton Inquiry; the right questions were not asked but when they inadvertently slipped out the answer is mauled.
    DC Coe
    Q. And is there anything else you would like to say about the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly?
    A. Nothing whatsoever.
    Dr Hunt
    Q. Is there anything else you would like to say concerning the circumstances leading to Dr Kelly's death?
    A. Nothing I could say as a pathologist, no.
    PC Franklin
    LORD HUTTON: Constable Franklin, after you and your colleague had found the body you then went back and other police officers arrived on the scene, is that right?
    19 A. Are we talking initially, my Lord?
    A. Initially it was just PC Sawyer and myself that went into the scene, but, yes, the whole search team would come up to a rendezvous point and be deployed by me from there.
    25 LORD HUTTON: How soon did you return with the search team to the scene?
    A. PC Sawyer and I left the scene and we returned with the vehicle minutes later. The search team did not attend until ...(Pause) About half past 12, I believe sir. The search itself did not start until 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
    PC Sawyer
    Q. Is there anything else you would like to say which you think might cast some light on the circumstances --
    A. I can think of nothing else which will help the Inquiry.
    LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed, Constable.
    A. My Lord.

    Mr Bartlett
    Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about the circumstances leading to Dr Kelly's death? A. Just the same as my colleague actually, we was surprised there was not more blood on the body if it was an arterial bleed.
    MR KNOX: Thank you very much.

    Ms Hunt
    One of the police officers or someone this morning said there appeared to be some blood on the ground. Did you see that?
    A. I could see some on -- there were some stinging nettles to the left of the body. As to on the ground, I do not remember seeing a sort of huge puddle or anything like that. There was dried blood on the left wrist. His jacket was pulled to sort of mid forearm area and from that area down towards the hand there was dried blood, but no obvious sign of a wound or anything, it was just dried blood.
    Q. You did not see the wound?
    A. I did not see the wound, no.
    Q. You were not looking at the wound, then?
    A. The hand -- from what I remember, his arm -- left arm was outstretched to the left of the body.
    Q. Yes.
    A. Palm up or slightly on the side (indicates) and, as I say, there was dried blood from the edge of the jacket down towards the hand but no gaping wound or anything obvious that I could see from the position I was in.
    Q. Were you examining the wrist for --
    A. No, I was not. No.
    Q. And were you examining the ground for blood or blood loss?
    A. No.
    MR DINGEMANS: Right. Thank you.
    LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much Ms Hunt. Thank you.

  4. I'd forgoton this one, perhaps my favourite

    LORD HUTTON: Mr Allan, if a third party had wanted paracetamol and dextropropoxyphene to be found in Dr Kelly's blood is there any way that the third party could have brought that about by either persuading or forcing Dr Kelly to take tablets containing those two substances?

    A. It is possible, but I think it would be –

    LORD HUTTON: That is the only way that those substances could be found in the blood, by taking tablets containing them?

    A. Yes, he has to ingest those tablets.

    LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you very much indeed.

    MR DINGEMANS: Assistant Chief Constable Page, please.