Pills and heart condition hastened scientist's death

Nicholas Hunt, Pathologist
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Indy Politics

David Kelly's lonely death in Oxfordshire woodland from five knife wounds was described yesterday by the forensic pathologist who examined the dead weapons expert.

Nicholas Hunt said the cuts to Dr Kelly's left wrist and arm, including one that severed a main artery, were the principal cause of his death. But he believed that a quantity of pills swallowed by the government scientist, and a heart condition, had hastened it.

He said there was no evidence that anyone else had been involved in the death. "The features are quite typical, I would say, of self-inflicted injury, if one ignores all the other features of the case. The appearance they gave was of what are called 'tentative' or 'hesitation' marks, which are commonly seen prior to a deep cut being made into somebody's skin if they are making the incision," Dr Hunt said.

He placed the estimated time of death as between 4.15pm on 17 July and 1.15am on 18 July. Asked whether Dr Kelly would have died as a result of the drug overdose if his wrist had not been cut, Dr Hunt said: "He may not have done at this time."