Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Conflicting evidence - Coe, Franklin, Sawyer (3)

In my last post I reproduced some of PC Sawyer's examination by Mr Knox at the Inquiry.  The official narrative is that Franklin, Sawyer and Dadd go up the track, with Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett in tow.  They see Coe with two uniformed officers and Coe, according to Sawyer, doesn't do the natural thing - taking the ambulance team to the body, but instead points out to Sawyer the way he went into the wood and confirms he had been to the body.  This part of Sawyer's evidence is sharply defined and outwardly would seem to fit in with the evidence from the ambulance crew ... which was heard after lunch that day.

Sergeant Dadd becomes invisible in the narrative and my best guess is that he stands with DC Coe whilst the others go up to the body.

PC Franklin is clear that he and Sawyer were taken into the woods by Coe to the area where the body was.  DC Coe, two weeks later, appears to confirm what Franklin has said.  Seven years later and in a letter to the Attorney General's Office Lord Hutton says:

Detective Constable Coe then took Police Constable Sawyer and Police Constable Franklin to see the body. 

Freedom of Information requests have returned the information that Sawyer's photographs at the scene were taken between 10.10 and 10.15 and that Dadd, Franklin, Sawyer and the two ambulance crew were logged out of the outer cordon at 10.26.  Thus it would appear that the four at the scene collected Dadd from wherever he was (I suggest talking to Coe) and that all five then went down the track together.

A further FOI response tells us that Dadd, Franklin and Sawyer were all logged in at the outer cordon at 10.00.  It has also been revealed that searcher Paul Chapman was logged out at 10.01.  This would mean then that the police conversed with Mr Chapman just inside the outer cordon.  Franklin and Sawyer each make the point at the Inquiry that they met Chapman; Sawyer is the more specific saying:  'We met Paul from SEBEV walking down the hill'

I would imagine that the outer cordon at that time was located at the bottom of the unmade track going up to Harrowdown Hill, in other words close to where cars were parking.  Franklin stated:

PC Sawyer and I attended Harrowdown Hill and went to the scene. We were unsure initially whereabouts we were going, but we passed Paul from the South East Berks Volunteers and he directed us to two uniformed police officers and DC Coe.

One has to be incredibly careful in interpreting what people say but the above evidence from Franklin suggests to me that Paul could see the 'two uniformed police officers and DC Coe'  My thought is that the conversation takes place near the edge of the wood just after 9.50.  This would allow Paul to get down the track to be logged out at 10.01.  It would be important to ensure that someone added a logging in time of 10.00 for Franklin and Sawyer for the record.  A space may have been left on the log for that information to be added later.

In the Mail on Sunday article of 8 August 2010 about Coe there is this interesting extract:

Eventually, two officers, PC Andrew Franklin and PC Martyn Sawyer, arrived and stood with DC Coe.
'We sealed off a pathway to the scene,' said DC Coe, 'and I stayed for a bit after that and had a chat with them about old times.  I told them there he is, dead, and then you chat about other things.
'Then the ambulance team came and opened his shirt to put white pads on his chest [ four electrodes connected to a heart monitor, the reading from which was a flat line].' 

The chat about other things might in reality be a discussion about how well the cover up is going and what now needs to be done! 

At the Inquiry there is this interaction between DC Coe and Mr Knox:

Q. How long did you spend at the scene?
A. Until other officers came to tape off the area. I would think somewhere in the region of about 25 or 30 minutes.
Q. Did anyone then arrive after that time?
A. Yes, two other police officers arrived, I took them to where the body was laying and then they made a taped off area, what we call a common approach path for everybody to attend along this one path.
Q. Did any ambulance people arrive?
A. They did, yes.

Coe is clear that he took two police officers to where the body was laying.  PC Sawyer has been equally clear in indicating that Coe pointed him in the direction of the body, rather than taking him to the body, when he and Franklin went with the ambulance team up into the wood.

My belief from the available evidence is that two other officers - not Franklin and Sawyer - led Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett along the track to where Coe was standing.  Franklin and Sawyer were already with Coe and had seen the body.  It's at this point with the paramedics ready to go into the wood that there is a quick swap of personnel with Franklin and Sawyer now leading Hunt and Bartlett.  

If my surmising is correct then we have further police officers in the form of Franklin and Sawyer being dishonest (There is good evidence that both Coe and ACC Page had lied at the Inquiry).

Another very interesting fact has emerged from examining Freedom of Information responses.  As already mentioned one FOI request has informed us of the times of six photographs taken by Sawyer of the body in situ.  These are the ones taken between approximately 10.10 and 10.15 and are timed to the second.  Interestingly another FOI result tells us that at the National Archive there are nine  images that appear to be associated with Sawyer's camera.  So did Sawyer take three photographs at a slightly earlier time ... when Coe was showing the two officers the body?

It's inconceivable that Sawyer wouldn't have taken shots of the scene if he and Franklin, courtesy of Coe, had already been to the body.  When the paramedics gave their evidence at the Inquiry they described Franklin and Sawyer staking out the common approach path and the taking of photographs before they checked for life.  Were these very noticeable actions arranged so that there could be no doubt that this was the first time that Franklin and Sawyer approached the body?  

One last point: Hutton in his report said that he had seen a photograph of the body with it's head against the tree.  If true I wonder if it was taken by Sawyer prior to the body being moved.    


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