Sunday, 5 August 2012

Further thoughts about Paul Weaving

I have recently written about farmer Paul Weaving and the possibility that he saw Dr Kelly on the afternoon he went on his final walk

In my post I had quoted number 41 in the schedule of responses to issues raised.  This had dealt with the report suggesting that Paul Weaving had also seen Dr Kelly on his walk on the afternoon of the 17th and the fact that Mr Weaving wasn't called to the Inquiry.  The report had been in the Guardian, Scotsman and Observer and in 41 they decided to refer to what the Guardian had to say.  This is very important because the Guardian didn't give direct quotes on this matter whereas the Scotsman certainly did.  Given the choice of those two newspapers for Saturday the 19th the question to be asked is why did they select the paper that didn't directly quote what was said.

A reminder of what Susan Melling said, as reported by the Scotsman:

Susan Melling, a neighbour, said the farmer, Mr Weaver, knocked on their door and her husband joined him in the search party.

"Mr Weaver called around and told us what had happened," she said. "He said that he had seen Dr Kelly on his walk on Thursday afternoon because he was near his farmland at the time.

"He was seen on the other side of the A420 road which runs just north of the village. My husband told me they would be searching all the way to the village of Longworth, which was the nearest village to where he was heading."  

There is confirmation of the search involving Mr Weaving and Mr Melling in number 54 in the Schedule:

Why was Susan Melling, a neighbour who had spoken to Paul Weaving, not called?
Mr and Mrs Melling were also interviewed by police officers in the days following the death of Dr Kelly.  Mr Melling assisted in the search of Dr Kelly with Mr Weaving, however neither had any further information to assist the investigation.

Mrs Melling's story about the search has been confirmed.  Her remarks about Mr Weaving seeing Dr Kelly are quoted.  My belief is that Mr Weaving changed his story regarding the sighting of Dr Kelly.  Mr Weaving was interviewed by the police on Sunday 20 July so there is no realistic chance of his failing to recall the facts over that 3 day period.  He was seen by the police on the day immediately following the newspaper articles and some will see that as suspicious.

The short quotation from Mr Weaving's police witness statement is in fact ambiguous, and possibly deliberately so: Apart from the man walking his dog as previously described, I saw nobody else whilst thereThis wording might be reasonably viewed as referring to Mr Weaving's observations when he was at one location only: Harrowdown Hill.  In that case Dr Kelly might readily have been spotted by Mr Weaving earlier that afternoon just north of the A420 but south of Longworth and Harrowdown, prior to Mr Weaving going on up to the Hill to supervise the grass cutting.

In summary:

  • The Attorney General in his Schedule selected the paper that didn't quote Mrs Melling rather than the one that did.
  • The quotation of Mrs Melling in the Scotsman is clear and unambiguous as to Mr Weaving having seen Dr Kelly.
  • Ruth Absalom has Dr Kelly heading in the wrong direction for Harrowdown Hill.  Hutton failed to investigate further.
  • The official narrative doesn't record any other witnesses subsequently seeing Dr Kelly.
  • Neither the person cutting the grass at Harrowdown Hill nor Mr Weaving see Dr Kelly at that location or approaching it.
  • Neither Mr Weaving, Mr Melling nor Mrs Welling are called to the Inquiry, even though they knew Dr Kelly and the two men had been involved in searching for him. 


  1. As someone on a thread commented very early on 23 July 2003:
    "It is also bizarre that he cheerfully smiled and greeted a local acquaintance while walking to the spot where he planned to plunge a penknife into his wrist and slowly bleed to death"
    (and the suicide method was debunked earier in the thread)

    Perhaps that is why Weaving had to be kept away from the Hutton Inquiry.

  2. What I think wasn't generally known, and the authorities wouldn't have wanted known, is the fact that Mr Weaving and his employee were cutting grass at Harrowdown Hill that afternoon. Whilst there the only member of the public seen by Mr Weaving was a man walking a dog.

    The very short piece of Mr Weaving's police statement that has been quoted refers to the time during which Mr Weaving was at Harrowdown Hill. It's significant that Mrs Melling referred to a search going all the way to Longworth and doesn't mention Harrowdown Hill at all. The reference to the A420 suggests that the sighting of Dr Kelly was close to that and not near Harrowdown Hill.