Sunday, 27 May 2012

The watch "just on top of the knife"

DC Coe gave his evidence to the Hutton Inquiry on 16 September 2003.  Although it was very terse for I believe understandable reasons there are nevertheless some nuggets in it worth close examination.  This exchange with junior counsel Peter Knox is exceptionally interesting:

Q. Where was the watch? 
A. If I remember rightly, just on top of the knife.
Q. And where was the knife?
A. Near to the left wrist, left side of the body.

What on earth was the watch doing in that position 'just on top of the knife'?   Dr Hunt, the next witness to appear, had speculated in his report that the watch was removed part way through the cutting process yet here was the watch "on top of the knife".

This problem has been raised with the Attorney General as can be read at number 90 in the "Shedule of responses to issues raised"

Dr Hunt relied on the removal of the watch as indicative of suicide.  However DC Coe's evidence was that the watch was on top of the knife.  If that is correct that knife was not used to make the cuts.  This discrepancy was not examined.

DC Coe reported that when he first attended the scene he witnessed Dr Kelly's watch as being "on top" of the knife.  Dr Hunt sets out that the knife was actually "adjacent" to Dr Kelly's watch.  Photographs taken show that both descriptions could be considered accurate as a short section of the strap appears to rest on the handle of the knife whilst the bulk of the knife is adjacent.

This response to the issue raised fails.  Firstly if part of the wrist strap was on top of the knife handle both Dr Hunt and Mr Green should have recorded the fact; they both failed to do so.  Secondly, the fundamental question of why ANY part of the watch is on top of ANY part of the knife is simply not addressed.

My own belief is that the scene setters in arranging the various artifacts made a simple mistake in allowing part of the watch strap to be on top of the handle of the knife.  As I say a simple mistake but a telling one.

A final point for this post:  DC Coe sees part of the watch on the knife yet says he didn't check the knife (for blood).  He sees the watch strap but fails to spot the pool of blood under the knife.  As he said to journalist Matt Sandy:  'On the ground, there wasn't much blood about, if any'.

Is this credible?  I think you know the answer to that one!

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