Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The evidence of Ruth Absalom (3)

At the end of my last post I was suggesting that Hutton really wasn't too concerned about the exact fit of Ms Absalom's testimony.  She had vouched for the fact that she had bumped into Dr Kelly at the top of Harris's Lane thus giving credence to the perception that he was on his way to Harrowdown Hill.  This though is what she had to say to Mr Dingemans about Dr Kelly's direction of travel:

Q. And did you see what direction he left in?
A. Well, he was going for his walk. I suppose he went to my right, along the road towards Kingston Bagpuize  I suppose in the end, if he had gone round that way, but obviously he was going down to the fields down the road or down to the fields down the back.
Q. Was that the last time you saw Dr Kelly?
A. Yes. 

The road towards Kingston Bagpuize is Appleton Road and its direction is east from the top of Harris's Lane whereas Harrowdown hill is a little to the west of north from this point.  Questions about the local geography appear to have left Hutton untroubled.  It's been down to assiduous investigators before my involvement who have pointed out that Dr Kelly was apparently headed the wrong way.

The description given by Ms Absalom of 'but obviously he was going down to the fields down the road or down to the fields down the back' is initially confusing.  I am indebted though to another investigator who knows the land there and has been able to give a credible interpretation of the point Ruth Absalom was making.

Ms Absalom of course was aware that Dr Kelly's body was found in the wood on Harrowdown Hill.  It seems with her description that she was explaining to Dingemans how Dr Kelly would have got to Harrowdown Hill having set off down Appleton Road.  Part way along this road he could have turned left (north) along the track to Draycott Moor Farm.  It is possible to take a path west that would then allow Dr Kelly to once again head for Harrowdown Hill.  In very simple terms he would have walked three sides of a square.  By using "google maps" at a suitably large scale it's possible to see the names of the roads.

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