Monday, 27 August 2012

DC Coe - taken to the body (2)

My last post detailed what happened when the two searchers met the three police officers ... as recalled by the searchers themselves.  DC Coe's police written statement makes no mention whatsoever of the two officers accompanying him, in itself somewhat suspicious.

As previously explained Annex TVP-1, written by civil servant Kevin McGinty nearly eight years after the event, is the official narrative that explains DC Coe's lapse of memory at the Hutton Inquiry regarding the third man.  It also gives a different perspective as to the meeting of the three police officers and the two searchers.

In the case of the two volunteers they made their statements on the same day as they, with the help of Brock, discovered the body.  I can see no apparent reason why they would have been dishonest about their interaction with DC Coe's party.  The evidence of Ms Holmes at the Inquiry mirrored her witness statement precisely.  There is some doubt regarding Mr Chapman's recall at the Inquiry about Ms Holmes being with him when DC Coe was shown the body; this wasn't helped by the lack of detail in that part of his witness statement. 

This is what Mr McGinty says in Annex TVP-1:

As the officers went towards the river they came across the two civilian searchers (Paul Chapman & Louise Holmes) who had found the body and radioed for help.  This was a chance occurrence.  At this time they were at the foot of Harrowdown Hill, a considerable distance from the body location.  

Dc Coe went with Paul Chapman leaving Dc Shields and Pc A and Louise Holmes behind.  Dc Shields and Pc A did not go to the scene at all and did not see the body.

It's my considered view that Mr McGinty has been given false information; if that's not the case then he is deliberately misleading the reader of Annex TVP-1 I would suggest.

The impression is certainly given of the two searchers having arrived at the bottom of the track before meeting DC Coe and his companions.  This is contrary to what the searchers had to say.  Not just this but Mr McGinty states that DC Shields and PC A stayed behind with Louise Holmes.  Both searchers are absolutely clear that all three police officers went at least part way up the track.  DC Coe makes no mention of the other two officers in his witness statement.  Perhaps DC Shields or PC A were more illuminating in their statements although I somehow doubt it.  

How did McGinty know the detail to write into Annex TVP-1?  He had sight of a police report from TVP in May 2011 it's true.  Did this report include any musings by Mr Coe?  His memory appears very suspect at times.  If Paul Chapman's recall is accurate then DC Shields and PC A were on the edge of the wood when DC Coe was shown the body and not at the bottom of the track. 

Once Paul Chapman had shown Dc Coe the body he returned to the bottom of the track where Dc Coe thinks that either Pc A or Dc Shields took the search team to the Police Station to make their statements.

A red herring I suspect to give credence to the "DC Shields and PC A remaining at the bottom of the track" story.  

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