Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Why did Mr Green come "at short notice"? (1)

The forensic biologist Mr Green gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry on the afternoon of 3rd September 2003.  At the conclusion of those proceedings Mr Dingemans said 'Thank you for coming at short notice'.  The yet to be answered question is: why did Mr Green go to the Inquiry at short notice?

Wind the clock back to the morning of that day and we find ACC Page being examined by Mr Dingemans.  Reference is made to the non appearance of Dr Hunt in Part One of the Inquiry and that Mr Green will be coming later:

Q. We have heard how a common access path was established yesterday.
A. Yes.
Q. And the fingertip searching was carried out. Did forensic pathologists become involved?
A. Yes. We were very anxious, from the outset, to ensure the most thorough possible examination of the scene. I spoke to the Oxfordshire coroner, Mr Gardiner, and we agreed between us that we would use a Home Office pathologist, which is a very highly trained pathologist.  It was also agreed with the senior investigating officer that we would use forensic biologists who are able to look at the scene and, in particular, blood splashes and make certain determinations from those in relation to what may have happened. 
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Q. What was the name of the pathologist who --
A. The pathologist was Mr Nicholas Hunt.
Q. We were hoping to call Mr Hunt to give evidence this morning, but he is on holiday and he is coming in stage 2. 
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Q. Right. And did he [Dr Hunt] form any conclusion about cause of death?
A. His conclusion around cause of death was that it was due to blood loss from incisions made to Dr Kelly's wrist.
Q. And we will hear from him but unhappily not today.  What other searches were carried out at the scene?  You have mentioned a forensic biologist. What do they do?
A. A forensic biologist, I believe you will be hearing from one later --
Q. Who was the forensic biologist?
A. A Mr Green I think. Yes, Mr Rory Green.
Q. I think you have very kindly arranged for him to come along later today?
A. That is correct, my Lord.
Q. What was he doing? We will hear in detail from him.
A. Essentially he was looking at the undergrowth around Dr Kelly's body.
Q. For what?
A. For blood splashing. Perhaps it is best to allow him to explain it himself but essentially he would be able to give a judgment as to what occurred at the scene from the pattern made by the blood splashes.

At this time Mr Green had further testing to doIt might be argued that in the absence of Dr Hunt it was a good idea to have a forensic expert give at least some evidence in stage 1.  Surely though it would make more sense to wait until he had assembled all of his evidence in case the earlier evidence conflicted in some way with that obtained when the testing was completed.  A further oddity was the fact that Mr Green didn't complete his detailed report until 27 September Rather than the headlong rush to complete the Inquiry in double quick time wouldn't it have been better to complete the forensic testing first and the Inquiry team to look at all the forensic information before proceeding?

The other point I must mention is that it was evidently ACC Page who arranged for Mr Green to come that day.  Why?  It seems to me that the Inquiry team ought to have contacted Mr Green themselves.

In my next post I shall set out a possible scenario that might explain why Mr Green came "at short notice".

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