Sunday, 19 August 2012

Paul Chapman - meeting police

This is the last segment of Paul Chapman's testimony at the Inquiry.

Q. Right. After you had seen that, where did you go next?
A. We retraced our steps back down to the main path and then walked back south along the path to where the car was parked.
Q. Did the police attend?
A. Yes, they did.
Q. And did you help them when they had arrived?
A. Yes. As we were going down the path we met three police officers coming the other way that were from CID. We identified ourselves to them. They were not actually aware that (a) the body had been found or we were out searching this area. They I think had just come out on their own initiative to look at the area. I informed them we had found the body and they asked me to take
them back to indicate where it was.
Q. So these were not the people you had arranged to meet, as it were?
A. No, because this was only 2 or 3 minutes after I had made the phone call.

The location at which the two searchers met the police is open to some interpretation. From Google Earth I reckon that the body would have been half a mile from the car park, a downhill walk of just under ten minutes perhaps.  The testimony from Paul Chapman suggests that the searchers had already set out for the walk back before Mr Chapman finished his phone calls with the police.  Therefore exactly where in time and space one measures the '2 of 3 minutes' is debatable.  

Q. How did you know they were police officers?
A. Because they showed me their Thames Valley Police identification.
Q. Do you recall their names?
A. Only one of them was DC Coe.

DC Coe it seems was the spokesman for the trio.  As a guess he let Mr Chapman look at his ID and then the other two might have given him a very quick flash of their ID which would satisfy most people I think.

Q. Did you show them the body?
A. Yes. We walked back up the hill with the three of them and then they decided as they got a bit closer to the edge of the wood that I needed only to take one of the officers in, so I took DC Coe in to show him where the body was.
Q. What were you wearing at the time?
A. I was wearing my standard search kit, walking boots, outdoor trousers, our uniform polo shirts.
Q. Did you need to give anything to the police?
A. All they did was take a copy of the soles of my boots.
Q. Right. After that, what happened?
A. Once we had shown them where the body was, we returned to the car. More police officers had arrived there. We waited around a while until we were released from the
scene, where we went back with one of the police officers to Abingdon police station where we made our statements.
Q. You made your statement and then go off to work?
A. It was mid afternoon by the time we had finished there. I actually had a day off as I was going away to cub camp for the weekend.
Q. Do you know of anything else surrounding the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death that you can assist his Lordship with?
A. No, I do not.
LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Chapman. Just take your time, please, to leave and do not rush at all. Thank you very much. 

Mr Chapman uses the word "we" rather than "I" in his evidence about taking the police to see the body.  I'll give my thoughts on this one later.  Similarly with the fact that he didn't finish at the police station until mid afternoon. 

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