Thursday, 23 August 2012

DC Coe - at the scene

At the end of my last post Coe had recorded the fact that he (and DC Shields) had met the searchers.  This is the next part of his testimony:

Q. What did you then do, once you had met Mr Chapman?
A. I went with Mr Chapman to Harrowdown Hill to the woods where approximately 75 yards into the set of woods he showed me a body.
Q. And how was the body positioned?
A. It was laying on its back -- the body was laying on its back by a large tree, the head towards the trunk of the tree.  

Q. Did you notice anything about the body? 
A. I did. 
Q. What did you notice? 
A. I noticed that there was blood round the left wrist. I saw a knife, like a pruning knife, and a watch.  
Q. And was the body lying on its front or on its back? 
A. On its back. 
Q. Where was the watch? 
A. If I remember rightly, just on top of the knife. 
Q. And where was the knife? 
A. Near to the left wrist, left side of the body.

For my thoughts about the watch being on top of the knife see here:

Q. Did you see a bottle? 
A. I did, a water -- a small water bottle. I think that was the left-hand side of the body as well, towards the top left-hand shoulder.
Q. Was there any water in the bottle?
A. I could not tell you.
Q. Did this person have any clothes on?
A. He did. He was fully dressed.
Q. Could you be more particular as to what the clothes you saw were? 
A. He was wearing a Barbour jacket. There was a cap, a pair of trousers and think walking boots, but I cannot be certain on that. 
Q. Was the cap on the head or was the cap apart from the body? 
A. That I cannot remember -- I have a feeling the cap was off, but I cannot be sure. 
Q. Did you notice if there were any stains on the clothes?
A. I saw blood around the left wrist area.

The only blood Coe talks of is around the left wrist.  He sees the watch 'just on top of the knife' but fails to mention any blood on the watch, blood on the knife or a pool of blood under the knife.

Q. Anywhere else? How close an examination did you yourself make? 
A. Just standing upright, I did not go over the body. I made a thing -- I observed the scene. 
Q. How far away from the body did you actually go?
A. 7 or 8 feet.
Q. How long did you spend at the scene?
A. Until other officers came to tape off the area. I would think somewhere in the region of about 25 or 30 minutes.
Q. Did anyone then arrive after that time?
A. Yes, two other police officers arrived, I took them to where the body was laying and then they made a taped off  area, what we call a common approach path for everybody to attend along this one path.
Q. Did any ambulance people arrive?
A. They did, yes.
Q. Can you remember what time they arrived?
A. I can, if I use my pocket book. Can I? 
Q. Of course.
A. I have 10.07 here.
Q. 10.07 being the time at which the ambulance arrived?
A. Pronounced death, but they might have arrived just prior to that. 

Yes I believe that logic would suggest that they did arrive just prior to pronouncing death, certainly not after. 

Q. It is they who pronounced death; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. After the ambulance crew arrived, did you do anything on the scene?
A. No, I left and left the other officers there, and I left the actual area of the scene.
Q. Did you have any further involvement in the search of the scene that day? 
A. I did not.

I'll be coming back to the above testimony no doubt in the light of other evidence.


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