Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Paramedics query Inquiry conclusion

(I have previously referred to the subject in this post http://drkellysdeath-timeforthetruth.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/blood-ambulance-team-interview-of.html  The main point in the press article - lack of blood at the scene - is so important that I think it's right to mention this issue again, particularly as I have recorded the doubts of the paramedics at the Inquiry in my last two posts)

On 12 December 2004, less than 11 months after Hutton published his Report, an article by journalist Antony Barnett appeared in The Observer under the heading 'Kelly death paramedics query verdict'  http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/dec/12/politics.davidkelly

The central thrust of Mr Barnett's piece was that Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett weren't able to accept Lord Hutton's conclusion, based on the pathologist's report, about Dr Kelly's demise.  They stated that there just wasn't enough blood loss (or haemorrhage) to result in death.  Now it's not only Hutton's "verdict" of suicide that was under question here, it's the whole matter of mode of death - whether self inflicted or as a result of another party with malevolent intent.

I think it is generally accepted that the observations and conclusions of the forensic pathologist embodied in his report are key to establishing cause of death.  If Dr Hunt was wrong on such a fundamental matter as that raised by the paramedics then Hutton's verdict would clearly be unsafe.

As recorded in my last two posts Ms Hunt and Mr Bartlett had each drawn to the attention of the Inquiry their belief that there wasn't enough blood present at the scene for a fatal haemorrhage. I pointed out that Mr Dingemans, in damage limitation mode, was trying to hint that as Ms Hunt wasn't specifically looking for blood at the scene then she just wouldn't be aware of itThis in fact is a piece of Dingemans mischief in my opinion.  Vanessa Hunt certainly saw blood on the nearby nettles and in kneeling, sitting or squatting by the body would be aware of any significant blood in the immediate area.  In a press article on 8 August 2010 DC Coe, by then retired, confirmed the almost total lack of blood at the scene.

There have been some commentators in the past who have suggested that there was sufficient blood loss but that it had soaked into the ground and that therefore the paramedics had got it wrong.  The overwhelmingly important thing to understand here is that it is up to the forensic pathologist to demonstrate beyond doubt that the blood loss was sufficient to cause death.  He clearly failed to do this.  One might have more confidence in Dr Hunt if he had mentioned coming across comparable circumstances in previous deaths he had investigated but there has been no indication from him that he had seen any other death resulting from the transection of a single ulnar artery.

It's evident from the article that Ms Hunt and Mr Bartlett had seen plenty of attempted wrist slashings in their long careers.  In other words they know what such situations typically look like.  In the oral evidence and written reports there is no indication that cracks had opened in the ground to permit the draining of blood.  Much earlier in this blog I had also looked at what other witnesses had to say about the blood so won't repeat it all here. The "blood" posts can be readily found by clicking on the archive for June on the right hand side of the page.

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