Sunday, September 21, 2003

In what position was David Kelly's body when it was found? From the testimony of Louise Holmes, who officially first found the body (here, sections 12 and 13; all emphasis in this posting is added by me):

"Q. And did you notice anything about the position of the body?

A. He was at the base of the tree with almost his head and his shoulders just slumped back against the tree.

Q. And what about his legs and arms? Where were they?

A. His legs were straight in front of him. His right arm was to the side of him. His left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a funny position."

From the testimony of another searcher, Paul Chapman, the second person to officially see the body (here, section 26):

"Q. Did you see what Brock the dog had found?

A. Yes.

Q. And what was that?

A. The body of a gentleman sitting up against a tree."

and (section 27):

"Q. Could you see anything at all?

A. He was sitting with his back up against a tree and there was an obvious injury to his left arm.

Q. An obvious injury to his left arm. What was that injury?

A. In as far as it was all covered in blood."

From the testimony of Detective Constable Graham Coe (here, section 2):

"Q. And how was the body positioned?

A. It was laying on its back - the body was laying on its back by a large tree, the head towards the trunk of the tree."

From Police Constable Dean Franklin (here, section 33):

"Q. And what was his position?

A. He was lying on his back with his right hand to his side and his left hand was sort of inverted with the palm facing down (Indicates), facing up on his back."

From Police Constable Martyn Sawyer (section 49):

"Q. Before the paramedics approached Dr Kelly's body, can you remember what position it was in?

A. Lying on its back with its head at the base of a tree, a large tree. The head was tilted to the left. The right arm was by the side. The left arm was palm down. There was a large amount of blood on the back of the left arm."

and (section 50):

"His jeans - he was wearing jeans, they were pulled up slightly, exposing the lower half of his leg or his ankle. It looked as if he had slid down and his trousers had ridden up."

From paramedic Vanessa Hunt (here, section 73):

"Q. And when you got into the wooded area, what did you see?

A. There was a male on his back, feet towards us."

and, in the context of the paramedics unbuttoning Kelly's shirt to place the pads on his chest (section 75):

"Q. Did you yourself move the body at all?

A. The only part of the body we moved was Dr Kelly's right arm, which was over the chest, to facilitate us to place the fourth lead on to the chest. It was just lifted slightly from the body."

From ambulance technician David Bartlett (here, section 80):

"They led us up to where the body was laid, feet facing us, laid on its back, left arm out to one side (indicates) and the right arm across the chest."

From the testimony of forensic pathologist Nicholas Hunt, who arrived later, but at a time when the scene was supposed to be completely undisturbed except for the medical work by the paramedics (here, section 6):

"He was lying on his back fully clothed with his boots on. His left arm was towards his side and his right arm was over his chest area."

and (sections 8 and 9):

"He was laying on his back near a tree. The left arm was extended out from the body slightly, closer to shoulder level, his right arm was laying across his chest area and his legs were extended out straight in front of him.

Q. I take it from what you just said he was laying on his back?

A. He was, yes.

Q. Was any part of his body actually touching the tree; can you recall?

A. I recall that his head was quite close to branches and so forth, but not actually over the tree."

It appears that the first two witnesses saw the body slumped against the tree, but all subsequent witnesses saw the body completely flat on the ground, with the head near the tree. PC Sawyer believed that the fact the jeans had ridden up Kelly's leg indicated that he had perhaps slid down the tree, but in that case wouldn't at least some of the body be likely to still be resting against the tree? The really odd thing is that all the early reporting on this matter states that Kelly's body was found face down.