Saturday, 2 June 2012

The blood: ambulance team interview of 12.12.04

On 12 December 2004 there was a quite extraordinary event in the saga of the Dr Kelly mystery: the two ambulance personnel who attended the body at Harrowdown Hill went public about their concerns regarding the official explanation as to how Dr Kelly met his death.  They were interviewed by respected journalist Antony Barnett, the story being published in The Observer  They then faced the TV cameras 

As can be seen from these two links the lack of blood at the scene was perhaps the biggest problem for them.  They were, in effect, saying that the forensic pathologist Dr Hunt had got it wrong.  

This is an extract from Mr Barnett's piece:

Over the years they have raced to the scenes of dozens of attempted suicides in which somebody has cut their wrists. In only one case has the victim been successful.
'That was like a slaughterhouse,' recalls Hunt. 'Just think what it would be like with five or six pints of milk splashed everywhere.' If you slit your wrists, that is the equivalent amount of blood you would have to lose.
But this was not the scene which greeted the two paramedics when their ambulance arrived at Harrowdown Hill woods in Oxfordshire, where the body of Dr Kelly, the weapons expert, had been found.

Their depth of experience should be contrasted with that of Dr Hunt who, as far as we know, had never dealt with a death resulting from wrist slashing.  It has to be said that Dr Kelly's death was in an outdoor setting and we don't know how many of the paramedics visits to attempted suicides by wrist slashing were indoors.  There has been speculation about blood seeping into the ground at the scene but if that was the case no attempt seems to have been made to further investigate and try to quantify the blood loss.

Later in the article we read:

Both saw that the left sleeves of his jacket and shirt had been pulled up to just below the elbow and there was dried blood around his left wrist.
'There was no gaping wound... there wasn't a puddle of blood around,' said Hunt. 'There was a little bit of blood on the nettles to the left of his left arm. But there was no real blood on the body of the shirt. The only other bit of blood I saw was on his clothing. It was the size of a 50p piece above the right knee on his trousers.'
Hunt found this very strange. 'If you manage to cut a wrist and catch an artery you would get a spraying of blood, regardless of whether it's an accident... Because of the nature of an arterial cut, you get a pumping action. I would certainly expect a lot more blood on his clothing, on his shirt. If you choose to cut your wrists, you don't worry about getting blood on your clothes.
'I didn't see any blood on his right hand... If he used his right hand to cut his wrist, from an arterial wound you would expect some spray.'
Bartlett agreed: 'I remember saying to one of the policemen it didn't look like he died from that [the wrist wound] and suggesting he must have taken an overdose or something else.'
Bartlett recalls being called to one attempted suicide where the blood had spurted so high it hit the ceiling. 'Even in this incident, the victim survived. It was like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the guy walked out alive. We have been to a vast amount of incidents where people who have slashed their wrists, intentionally or not. Most of them are taken down the hospital and given a few stitches then sent straight back home. But there is a lot of blood. It's all over them.'

A very small correction needs to be made regarding the first sentence of this quote.  According to Mr Green the shirt was a short sleeved one.  The fact that the jacket sleeve was pulled up is important though as I shall explain in a later post. 

No comments:

Post a Comment