Tuesday, 18 September 2012

'There were a lot of police around'

'There were a lot of police around'.  This is a quote of Vanessa Hunt in the press article to which my last post linked.  To put it in proper context this is the relevant paragraph in Antony Barnett's piece in The Observer of 12 December 2004:

When they arrived at the woods 15 minutes later it was immediately clear that this was not a run-of-the-mill incident. 'There were a lot of police around,' said Hunt. 'Some were in civilian clothes and others in black jackets and army fatigues. I thought it might have been a firearms incident as there were the guys from the special armed response units.' 

The next paragraph reads:

The paramedics parked their ambulance. Carrying their resuscitation equipment, they followed two armed-response police for about a mile until they reached a wooded area. In a clearing, they first saw Kelly's body. 

In reality the distance they had to walk was about half a mile rather than a mile but far enough when you are carrying equipment as well.

This is Vanessa Hunt at the Inquiry:

Q. When you arrived on the scene was anyone there?
A. Yes, there were a number of police officers.
Q. Do you remember how many?
A. Just lots and there was police vehicles there as well.

Dave Bartlett also emphasises the number of police:

Q. What happened when you arrived?
A. We parked at the end of the lane where there were some cars already parked, a lot of police officers there. We asked one police officer who directed us to the police that were in the combat uniforms and they asked us to bring some equipment and follow them down into the woods.

There is also an interesting phrase in the testimony of Louise Holmes:

Q. So in other words, Paul Chapman goes back with the police to show them where the body is?
A. Yes.
Q. What did you do?
A. I went back to the car to sort the dog out and then when I got to the car further police officers and personnel
came up to the car to take over, take over the scene.
Q. Did you then go back to the scene at all?
A. No.

She gets back to her car and refers not just to 'further police officers' but also uses the word 'personnel'.

The official narrative doesn't have anything to say about all these additional police and personnel.  From Franklin and Sawyer we glean the information that they brought three officers with them to act as cordons.  Sergeant Dadd was there as well.  That's a total of six officers.  DC Coe is up at the wood as are, I suspect, DC Shields and "the third man".

A real flurry of activity at the bottom of the lane it would seem when the ambulance crew park their vehicle.  I had been surprised by the fact that neither Franklin nor Sawyer had referred to Ms Holmes being at the parking area when they arrived although the presence of her car was mentioned.  My thought now is that someone from the police (and personnel) who took over the scene would want to talk to her; she could for instance have been sitting in a police vehicle when Sawyer and Franklin arrive.

There seems to be a deliberate attempt at the Inquiry to avoid any questions about the 'further police officers and personnel'.  As this is the Hutton Inquiry we really shouldn't be surprised.


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