Paramedics challenge Lord Hutton over David Kelly's death

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Indy Politics

Two paramedics have cast doubt over the verdict of the Hutton inquiry that weapons expert Dr David Kelly killed himself by slitting his wrists.

Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt, who were among the first people to arrive at Harrowdown woods, Oxfordshire, after Dr Kelly's body was found on 18 July last year, said there would have been much more blood at the scene using that method.

In a joint statement, Mr Bartlett and Ms Hunt said yesterday: "We felt that our observations of the scene where Dr Kelly's body was discovered were inconsistent with the conclusion of the Hutton Inquiry that Dr Kelly's death resulted from the wound to his wrist."

Ms Hunt said the only blood she saw was a stain the size of a 50p piece on Dr Kelly's trousers and "a little bit of blood" on some nearby nettles. Severing an artery would normally cause "a spraying of blood".

The Hutton inquiry concluded that Dr Kelly had died by "bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist" after being named as the source of a story by BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan that the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been "sexed up".

Ms Hunt and Mr Bartlett, each with more than 15 years' experience as paramedics, did not offer any alternative explanations for Dr Kelly's death but said they were repeating evidence given to the inquiry which they felt had not been given sufficient emphasis in its final report. The inquest into Dr Kelly's death was not reconvened after Lord Hutton reported.

Mr Bartlett said: "I would have thought there would have been more blood on the body if he had bled to death."He said that in similar cases he had attended "there is usually more blood".

A spokesman for Thames Valley police said yesterday that they were "fully satisfied with the outcome of the investigation into David Kelly's death".