Sunday, 24 June 2012

The co-proxamol (4)

In 2003 Mrs Kelly was taking prescription co-proxamol to relieve the pain of her arthritis.  When Dr Kelly's GP, Dr Warner, was examined by Mr Knox at the Inquiry there is this exchange:

Q. Did you ever have to prescribe Coproxamol to Dr Kelly?
A. No.

If Dr Kelly had ingested co-proxamol tablets then his wife's supply would be the most obvious source, particularly, as I understand things, co-proxamol was available prescription only.

Mr Dingemans questioned Mrs Kelly about the co-proxamol:

Q. Do you take any medicine?
A. I do. I take co-proxamol for my arthritis.
Q. I think we are also going to hear that appears to be the source of the co-proxamol that was used.
A. I had assumed that. I keep a small store in a kitchen drawer and the rest in my bedside table.

That highlighted question was one of the most disgraceful in the whole of the Hutton Inquiry!  It seems to me that Dingemans was trying to nudge Mrs Kelly towards a favourable answer, he must have known that nobody would know for sure about the source of the co-proxamol or would give evidence about that.  He should have asked Mrs Kelly whether she had noticed any missing from her supply.  She was making an assumption, not certain how much she had perhaps.

We aren't told at the Inquiry how much co-proxamol Mrs Kelly had in her home.  However the responses to issues raised schedule does have an answer at number 18

Subsequent to the body being found there were 4x10 packs in her bedroom drawer and, in the kitchen drawer, a full box of 10x10.  One would think, assuming the removal of 3 packs in one go, that she might have noticed that amount of depletion from her stock.  Although the full pack had come from the "White Horse Medical Practice" I'm aware of the fact that she had been getting supplies of the drug from a high street chemist.  My guess is that the Medical Practice had recently set up their own dispensary, a not unusual circumstance. 

As can be seen from this witness statement dated 11 November 2003 from DC Eldridge the manufacturers of the co-proxamol were approached regarding the batch numbers of the tablets.  It looks as if DC Eldridge might well have been posing the wrong question, certainly he is quoting the "product licence" number in his statement rather than a batch number.  The subject is covered in this blog post by Dr Andrew Watt

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