Friday, 8 June 2012

The bloodstained Barbour cap (2)

Mr Green carried out tests on the Barbour cap and reports on them in his statement of 27 September 2003This is what he had to say:

Next to the deceased's left shoulder was a Barbour cap (AMH.6).  Beyond this, approximately 25 cm from the left shoulder was an almost empty Evian water bottle (AMH.2) and 12 cm further on was its top (AMH.3).  Each of these items appeared to be smeared with blood, indicating that the deceased was already injured when these items were handled.
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Areas of possible vomit-like staining were observed on both sides of deceased's face coming from the mouth, on the jacket (NCH.17) and on the ground partially covered by the cap (AMH.6).
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Barbour cap: Item (AMH.6) was the brown, blue, red and white checked "Barbour" cap, which was found near the deceased's left shoulder.  The label inside the cap indicated that it was a size 71/4 [seven and a quarter] / 59.  The inside of the cap was heavily stained with smears of blood and occasional blood spots.  The underside of the peak also bore smears of blood.  Tests indicated the presence of traces of blood on the upper surfaces of the cap, although apart from two small bloodstains on the edge of the peak no bloodstains were visible.

STR profiling of a bloodstain on the inside of the cap gave a full profile, which matched that of Dr Kelly, so this blood could have come from him.

In an attempt to determine whether or not the cap could have been worn by Dr Kelly a non-bloodstained area from the band around the inside of the cap was sampled and submitted for STR profiling tests.  The results indicated the presence of DNA from at least two persons.  The profile of the major contributor of DNA to the mixture could be determined and this matched the profile of Dr David Kelly.  Therefore he could have worn the cap.  The result suggested that the minor contributor to the mixture could have been a female.  This person could not have been Janice Kelly, Sian Kelly or Ellen Wilson.

Thanks to Dr Hunt's report we know that the lining side of the cap was uppermost.

The early witnesses don't mention seeing any blood on the cap but it may not have been too noticeable to the casual eye.  Neither Dr Hunt or Mr Green suggest an explanation of why the cap was seemingly removed by Dr Kelly from his head after he had started cutting his wrist.  In fact it's surprising that Dr Hunt doesn't speculate that cap removal was yet another indicator of Dr Kelly's intent to cause self-harm.

That the bloodstaining on the cap was so extensive seems odd if all Dr Kelly did was take it off.  I have a cap with a peak, not a Barbour admittedly, and have tried taking the cap off whilst lying on my back.  Whichever hand is used one would get hold of the peak I suggest, I then find it difficult to imagine how the inside of the cap got heavily stained as described.

An alternative explanation could be that a scene setter smeared the cap, and the other "props" that were close to the body, with blood without perhaps any thought as to how the blood would logically have arrived on the various artifacts.  In later posts I shall be looking at the apparent increase in bloodstaining on at least some of the clothing, the creation of the small pool of blood under the knife, the knife and watch together with the left arm having been repositioned.  If the scene was changed to this extent then I have little problem in accepting that blood might have been later smeared on the other objects.

It has been suggested that the Barbour cap was placed over a pool of blood on the ground that was in the "wrong" place and that is how the bloodstaining appeared.  I think that is quite a credible explanation.  It is ridiculous that the quite extensive bloodstaining on the cap, although mentioned in passing by Dr Hunt, wasn't discussed at the Inquiry and that we had to wait until 9 June 2011 to read about Mr Green's tests on it.  Frankly that's not acceptable.

Intriguing though it is I don't have any particular thoughts as to what female may have also had the Barbour cap on her head even if only momentarily.  I am assuming that the DNA can "hang around" for a long time and I wouldn't want to speculate on the identity of the woman concerned.

Surprisingly a mysterious second cap makes an appearance in the Dr Kelly mystery, something to flag up in my next post.

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