20th February 2004
Mr Nicholas Gardiner Oxfordshire Coroner
(City) Coroner's Office, New Post Mortem Suite, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford OX3
Dear Mr Gardiner,
I wrote the following letter to the Morning Star which was published on the 15th of December:-
'I write to enquire as to the status of the Coroner's inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly. I hope that it has not been subsumed within the Hutton enquiry. He had been put through the psychological mincing machine of the elite running this country and it is easy to imagine his sense of failure as well as betrayal in both directions. We have been told that he died from a cut wrist and that he had non-lethal levels of an analgesic in his blood.
As a past trauma and orthopaedic surgeon I cannot easily accept that even the deepest cut into one wrist would cause such exsanguination that death resulted. The two arteries are of matchstick size and would have quickly shut down and clotted. Furthermore we have a man who was expert in lethal substances and who apparently chose a most uncertain method of suicide. The picture fits more with 'a cry for help'.
I have hesitated in writing this because I would not wish to hurt any family feelings but the elite have shown no such qualms. I am pleased to note that even the BBC speaks of his 'alleged' suicide.'
I then learned that the inquest had been subsumed and that a single artery had been transected. Everything that I have read about this case and studied since leads me to question the verdict of suicide, with the central cause of death being haemorrhage plus two contributing causes. It has taken some courage and a good deal of thought for myself and others to bring our concerns to you. Informed citizens should always be listened to when very serious matters might be going astray. Rule 20 would be a poor defence for turning a deaf ear. We all know that the public opinion of the Hutton Report was one of almost total derision. The public are not generally aware that the verdict on Dr David Kelly's death was given by Lord Hutton within that report. Our group regard the points of that verdict as being faulty in almost every regard and stand by the view that the evidence for a verdict of suicide has not been proven. I ask you to take this plea for the inquest to be re-opened into proper consideration when you conduct the public hearing into the question some time in March.
David Halpin MB BS FRCS