Saturday, 20 November 2010

Hunter and Hunted: the two pathologists of David Kelly

The latest grudging drip-feed of information about the Kelly case was the release of pathology and toxicology reports. Searchable text of the pathology report is here).

I'll concentrate mainly on the pathology document. It appears to tell us little of interest that we didn't already know - as those who decided to publish it must have been well aware. There are however a few interesting aspects:

The report's content is at odds with the remarks Dr Hunt recently made to the press (the 'textbook suicide' remarks) which were widely reported (not for the first - or the last - time) by all the usual commentators as laying to rest 'conspiracy theories' about Dr Kelly's death.

Those remarks were I believe made with the agreement of Hunt's Home Office employers. In fact it strains credulity to imagine that Hunt came up with the idea himself and the HO just granted permission. I think 'at the insistence and under the supervision of' would probably describe the facts better than 'with the agreement of '. Indeed, Hunt must have known that he was breaking confidentiality in making those statements, and he was sanctioned by the GMC for doing so without the permission of the coroner in the case.

So this later Hunt appears to have been under some pressure to make public statements which he must have been aware would be a breach of fundamental professional ethics unless properly authorised (which they weren't). One lever for the exertion of such pressure might have been his ongoing investigation by a Disciplinary Committee which via a Byzantine layering of official bodies - the Pathology Delivery Board under the Police, Science and Forensics Unit of the National Policing Improvement Agency - is evidently basically controlled by the Home Office. Hunt, under pressure, seems to have been wlling to blur the distinction between the roles of coroner and expert witness, since his scripted remarks give the impression that he is in a position to draw conclusions about matters other than the direct cause of death.

The role of a pathologist at an inquest (we are told that the Hutton Inquiry was to serve in place of an inquest) is to offer evidence. A pathologist draws a conclusion about the most likely cause of death, in light of the forensic evidence available to him from the scene, if it is at all possible to do so. His report may offer further expert opinion - whether there is positive physical evidence of a struggle, for example - but that evidence goes into the mix, to be assessed by the coroner in the light of all other evidence. A pathologist is neither authorised nor equipped to deliver the verdict of an inquest.

And the earlier Hunt seemed to understand this - he (apparently) phoned the Channel Four studio in 2004 to say that he would more comfortable with a proper coroner's inquest. At the Hutton inquiry, he hinted fairly heavily that Hutton should be pursuing other avenues of inquiry. In response to the hurry-up and hedge-about of You have already dealt with this, I think, but could you confirm whether, as far as you could tell on the examination, there was any sign of third party involvement in Dr Kelly's death?, he was careful enough to say No, there was no pathological evidence to indicate the involvement of a third party in Dr Kelly's death. Rather, the features are quite typical, I would say, of self inflicted injury if one ignores all the other features of the case - thus not only clearly stating that his conclusion was provisional and heavily qualified, but strongly suggesting that there are other features of the case which tend to provide countervailing evidence. Similarly, at the end of his testimony, he was again careful to point out that his role was heavily circumscribed, and again suggested that there may be reason to think that all was not as Hutton was intent on finding it to be. Asked is there anything else you wish to add? he replied Nothing I could say as a pathologist, no.

So while that incarnation of Dr Hunt quite properly refrained from going beyond his narrowly defined role as pathologist (a rare case of propriety in the Hutton proceedings) - hoping perhaps that Hutton would behave properly - he clearly felt that his bland remarks about lack of evidence should not be taken as the end of the matter. He seemed to have some vestige of the forensic instinct, the desire to track down the truth - Hunt the hunter, you might say, even if he was not exactly the most singleminded and ruthless of predators.

But a rather different Hunt was wheeled out by the Home Office to give the 'textbook suicide' interview (if in fact there was the formailty of an actual interview, rather than a written briefing bearing Hunt's imprimatur). He spoke not in an official capacity, but at the same time not just as a private citizen - he had some official sanction. A shifty kind of business, as the GMC clearly agreed. And this Hunt stuck to a script very different from his earlier remarks - one that that exaggerated both the certainty and the dispositiveness of his findings, and seemed calculated to give the impression of an open-and-shut case. It is hard to resist the conclusion that Dr Hunt, caught up in the middle of events, was under considerable pressure to do as he was told. If he had been televised, one imagines him sweat-beaded, glancing anxiously off-screen for reassurance that his political masters approved. This was a hunted Hunt.

Now that the post-mortem pathology report has been released, we can find out what the earlier Hunt - the forensic pathologist in pursuit of truth - actually said. For convenience I'll call him 'Hunter' ('Hunted' being the later Hunt, who found himself put in the position of Home Office propagandist.)

Let's compare what these two Dr Hunts had to say.

Hunted is reported as saying that two of Dr Kelly's main coronary arteries were 70-80% narrower than normal, and his heart disease was so severe that he could have "dropped dead" at any minute.

But Hunter says (conclusion 1, p12): there is no evidence of natural disease that could of itself have caused death directly at the macroscopic (naked-eye) level (and neither, we should add, is any other evidence supplied of such disease).

And we have Hunted saying: Nobody would have seen the amount of blood at the scene. In actual fact there were big, thick clots of blood inside the sleeve, which came down over the wrist, and a lot of blood soaked into the ground. They might not have seen it, but it was there and I noted it in my report.

Hunter, on the other hand, says on p3, under the heading "Bloodstaining and contamination on clothing": There was heavy bloodstaining over the left arm, including that part which was within the jacket at the scene. And under the heading "Bloodstaining and contamination on exposed body surfaces" on p4, the same formulation: There was heavy bloodstaining over the left arm, including that part which was inside the jacket sleeve. There is no mention of big, thick clots of blood, clots big enough to represent a significant loss of blood.

And Hunter does not mention blood soaked into the ground. He describes a pool of blood beneath the knife which was approximately 8-10 by approximately 4-5 cms. - smaller than a coffee-ring. He describes what may be the same 'pool' again, as part of bloodstaining and a pool of blood in an area running from the left arm of the deceased for a total distance of in the order of 2'-3'.. Note this is the total area - and if this were a different pool of any significant size, one would expect the dimensions to be supplied. Other mention of bloodstains are still more negligible - and to hold Hunted to his word, we must again observe that there is no mention of any blood soaked into the ground. If it was there, Hunter did not report any attempt to find it. And if he did find it, he makes a liar of Hunted by failing to note it in his report.

Just to put all this mention of blood into perspective, it's worth noting the comments of one of the more credible witnesses in the case:

‘I’ve been to loads of slashed wrists and you always get loads of blood. I would have thought he would have got more blood over him. If he’s going to bleed to death, you’ll get a fair old bit.
‘To me, people rarely commit suicide by slitting their wrists. They’ll usually do it and end up in hospital.’ But that was not the scene they found. He said: ‘There was some [blood] on his left wrist, a few specks on his shirt and a spot the size of a 10p on his trousers. There was a bit on the nettles and grass but not a lot at all.
‘We said at the time we doubted very much he would have died from that wound we saw. When it came out that the autopsy was from blood loss, we were really surprised. I’ve seen more blood at a nosebleed than I saw there.
‘I’m not saying he didn’t commit suicide. But there was very little blood for someone who allegedly bled to death.’

A clumsy conceit like this Hunter-Hunted business mustn't be allowed to get in the way of the facts, so I must reiterate that the Hunt of the pathology report was not necessarily especially implacable in pursuit of that elusive quarry, the truth. There are some problems in his report which I haven't been able to lay to rest entirely. In particular there seem to be two areas of confusion, which may or may not be significant.

The post-mortem pathology report includes Kelly's narrowed arteries as contributory factors in his death (though they were basically irrelevant, as was any dextropopoxyphene he may have ingested). Hunt says in his final conclusion (#25, p14):

on the balance of probabilities, it is likely that the ingestion of an excess number of co-proxamol tablets coupled with apparently clinically silent coronary artery disease would both have played a part in bringing about death more certainly and more rapidly than would have otherwise been the case (emph. mine)

But at p6, in his description of the heart, he says: Within the left anterior descending coronary artery there was 60 to 70% luminal stenosis by atheroma with one point distally which appeared to have been re-canalised. Which means that the atherosclerosis - or some similar, very probably related, condition - had been diagnosed and treated, and was thus apparently not clinically silent.

[UPDATE Nov 21 20:44 - I must ruefully report that it apparently doesn't mean that. Andrew Watt tells me in comments that recanalisation is a natural process. I had meant to add a caveat to this remark, which was speculative obviously, but I didn't, which is slightly annoying. I also meant to get rid of the imminent mixed metaphor of 'muddying' and 'padding', for that matter...]

This might be considered pretty unimportant, but in the light of Hunt's recent mendacity on the topic of Kelly's supposedly precarious state of health, and the way the cause of death was muddied by being padded out with basically irrelevant information about Kelly's atherosclerosis, it should probably at least be noted.

The other area of confusion is the small matter of volatile chemicals. Doping by inhalation is an obvious, indeed I suppose one might say classic, method of overpowering a person so as to make it easier to kill them without signs of violence, even if they were aware of the attempt and intent on making things difficult. Clamping a pad over someone's mouth is relatively easy to do without injuring them, compared to, say, injecting them while they are conscious (admittedly, covering the injection site with passably convincing cuts could presumably be done easily enough once the victim is unconscious).

See conclusion #15: "In addition to the usual toxicology samples I had also provided police with one of the lungs of the deceased should the question of him being over powered by an assailant using a volatile chemical such as chloroform be raised. Given the lack of volatile chemicals detected in the blood, I am satisfied that this may be re-united with the body for burial". Note this is a case of 'no full stop'.

On p11 of the pathology report:

At the time of completing this report, I have been provided with the following verbal information by Dr Alexander ALLAN, a forensic toxicologist from Forensic Alliance Limited:
• The blood sample contains the drug dextropropoxyphene at a concentration of 1.0 micrograms per millilitre.
• The blood sample contains the drug paracetamol at a concentration of 97 micrograms per millilitre.
• Paracetamol is present in the stomach contents.
• No alcohol has been detected.
The results of the analysis of volatile chemicals is still pending.

In addition, I have been provided with a copy of the formal statement of Dr ALLAN dated 21st July 2003 and given the laboratory reference FAL-05969-03
A range of therapeutic and non therapeutic drugs were looked for as detailed in the statement. In addition, the blood has been analysed for the presence of volatile chemicals.
The levels of dextropropoxyphene and paracetamol in the blood were confirmed as above.
Acetone was found in the urine but no other volatile chemical was detected.

The toxicology report has: A trace of acetone was found in this blood and also possibly in the urine.

All this contradiction and apparent glossing-over of the matter of volatiles draws attention to the matter, if anything, at least to the alert reader. Acetone can be explained by ketogenesis, but that explanation could be confirmed or invalidated by further tests, as could hypotheses such as that acetone - or isopropyl alcohol, of which it is a rapidly succeeding metabolite - had been used as an anaesthetic.

Allan (the toxicologist) gives no indication of which substances might have been used while remaining undetected within various timeframes. Just for one random example, GHB reportedly has a detection window of 6-8 hours in blood and 12 hours in urine. The gap between Kelly's last reported sighting (the earliest time at which he might have been drugged) at 15.00 on the 17th Oct and the taking of blood samples - which appears not to have been done until the post-mortem examination which commenced 21.20 on the 18th Oct - would appear to be over 30 hours. If it is the time of death that is of interest, then the delay is between 1¼ and 10¼ hours - the 9-hour range being due to the long delay in taking the body's temperature - which incidentally is itself a clear case of avoidable loss of evidence. (A timeline of Hunt's painfully slow progress in gathering time-sensitive evidence would be an interesting thing to look at in itself.)

In fact, it must be noted that the toxicology report, very much like the pathological findings, follows a bog-standard format that one would associate with the death of an ordinary person in ordinary circumstances. As Dr Allan states, I have been asked by the Thames Valley Police to analyse the post-mortem samples for the presence of alcohol, drugs, medicines' and volatile substances in order to determine if any of these substances were involved in Dr Kelly's death. In other words, can you find any residue of pill, powder, booze or solvent overdose? No need for exploratory procedures like taking a look at serum osmol gap. Bish bosh, might as well have been John Doe #436, found in an alleyway.

Allan didn't (reportedly) examine bile or vitreous humour, though these were supplied. The stomach contents were tested for paracetamol, funny smells and things which bore some passing visual resemblance to tablet film coatings (or baked bean skins, etc):

The stomach contents, item NCH/49, consisted of a brown' watery slurry containing approximately 67 mg of paracetamol. There was no unusual smell from the stomach contents and no obvious tablet or food material. However there were two pieces of what could be tablet film coating. In the light of these findings no further analyses were carried out on the stomach contents.

Not even dextropropoxyphene was tested for, apparently (unless some 'anomalous' results were discarded as obviously in error!), which is bizarre given that some kind of quantitative pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models would appear to be the bare minimum one would expect, even given that the presumption of co-proxamol overdose was justified. Note that on the previous day, Hunt had stated The stomach contained a moderate amount of dark-coloured fluid without definite tablet residue visible macroscopically although there were some remnants of food, including possible tomato skins. Apparently according to Hunt there had been food material, and no tablet residue. Any film coating would, one would think, be less likely to be observed after having had longer to dissolve (we are not told whether any preservative was added to the stomach contents, for example to neutralise the hydrochloric acid. It seems unlikely that materials like tablet film that are designed to be rapidly water-soluble would have survived for long in any case, so that Hunt might miss them and Allan find them. Allan was happy to settle for visual inspection and a finding of 'possible' tablet film; one imagines that some test might have been carried out to confirm or deny this speculation, had the will been there.)

The outlook for a pharmacokinetic analysis confirming the official story doesn't look terribly promising to the untrained eye, given that Allan states:

The paracetamol in the stomach contents amount to 67 milligrams (mg), However because of the reported vomiting, some of the contents may have been lost and therefore some paracetamol (and dextropropoxyphene) [but we will never know how much dextropropoxyphene was in the stomach, since it was not assayed for!] may not have been available for absorption from the gastro-intestinal tract. [this would tend to suggest that proportionally more paracetamol would have been lost than dpp, since dpp is rapidly absorbed; my understanding is that paracetamol is hardly absorbed at all until it passes to the small intestine] Furthermore the concentration of paracetamol indicates that the equivalent of less than one co-proxamol tablet (containing 325 mg of paracetamol) remained in the stomach contents. Bearing in mind the blood results and the lack of visible tablet residue in the contents, apart from the two possible film-coatings, [which were not reportedly analysed in any way] these indicate that it was likely that the bulk of the tablets [sorry, what tablets?] ingested (excluding those [which?] that had been ejected in the vomit) had passed into his circulatory system. It may have been more than an hour or so prior to death when the bulk of the tablets [?] had been ingested. The significant amount of dextropropoxyphene in the urine also supports ingestion some time previously. It seems very likely that Dr Kelly had died before all the paracetamol was absorbed [suddenly Allan shows some caution - presumably allowing for the possibility that paracetamol was pumped into the stomach after death!] and therefore higher levels may have been produced if death had not intervened and he had not vomited.

and also says:

The concentration of dextropropoxyphene [ what about paracetamol? these two never seem to be mentioned in the same breath...] in the blood is consistent with the ingestion of a large amount of co-proxamol


The following substances were found in the blood, item NCH/47, at the stated concentrations:
paracetamol 97 micrograms per millilitre of blood
dextropropoxyphene 1.0 [micrograms per millilitre of blood]

So what can we glean from this?

Ratio of paracetamol to dextropropoxyphene by mass:

in co-proxamol tablets: 10:1.

in the stomach: unknown. (dpp apparently not tested; paracetamol 67mg)

in the blood: 100:1.

in the urine: unknown. (paracetamol apparently not tested; dpp and successors 'significant' quantities.)

Now whether all this supports a story of co-proxamol ingestion shortly before death is unclear to me. I do know that dextropopoxyphene is fairly rapidly absorbed, while paracetamol is hardly absorbed at all through the stomach, but instead through the small intestine. To gain a useful picture of what happened, one would need a far more detailed and wide-ranging analysis - perhaps that was one of the tasks still under way when the forensic biologist Roy Green said:

I have had upwards of -- I could count them but at a guess 50 items sent to the examinations are still ongoing...I have provided a spreadsheet with a kind of -- a snapshot of where we are today about what items have been examined, what has been found on them, which items were profiled, the results of those profile tests, although I have not put my evidence down in a statement form as yet.

As I've pointed out < a href="">before, there is no record of this spreadsheet or of any later report being aadmitted into evidence by the inquiry. As far as one can tell, and certainly so far as the public record goes, his detailed forensic work appears to have been ignored.

Allan though, instead of any attempt to provide any unified account of the results and the possibilities they are consistent with, goes off on a long-winded digression on the general topic of co-proxamol that could have been lifted from Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the assumption that co-proxamol was the delivery mechanism for the paracetamol and dextropopoxyphene seems to have been a fixed point.

To repeat the most relevant passage:

Bearing in mind the blood results and the lack of visible tablet residue in the contents, apart from the two possible film-coatings, these indicate that it was likely that the bulk of the tablets ingested (excluding those that had been ejected in the vomit) had passed into his circulatory system. It may have been more than an hour or so prior to death when the bulk of the tablets had been ingested. The significant amount of dextropropoxyphene in the urine also supports ingestion some time previously. It seems very likely that Dr Kelly had died before all the paracetamol was absorbed and therefore higher levels may have been produced if death had not intervened and he had not vomited.

It is quite clear from this that the organising principle for the interpretation of the evidence was the presumption of the very account which ought to have been tested; that is, that the only intervention involving toxins was the voluntary ingestion of a large number of co-proxamol tablets shortly before death.

Hunt's conclusions, similarly have the air of a case considered to be open-and-shut from the outset. Indeed, he makes explicit the attitude that in Allan's case is somewhat more muted: Given the finding of blister packs of co-proxamol tablets within the coat pocket and the vomitus around the mouth and floor, it is an entirely reasonable supposition that he may have consumed a quantity of these tablets either on the way to or at the scene itself. It may be an entirely reasonable supposition in some circumstances, but it is an entirely unreasonable supposition for a criminal investigator, especially where the possibility of professional killing is a live one. In fact in such circumstances, supposition in general is anathema.

Instead, like Allan, Hunt seems to have approached this case as a routine sudden death. For example, his remarks tend to be premised on the assumption that a violent death is also a disorderly death. This may be the case in street crime and unplanned violence. It is not likely to be the case where premeditated murder is involved. In particular, the possibility of concealment not only of the identity of the killer(s), but also of the very fact that there is a killer at all places a very different complexion on a forensic procedure of this kind.

Hunt appears, as we have seen, to have considered the idea that Kelly might have been knocked out with chloroform or some other volatile chemical, but retains assumptions such as that the water bottle would not be placed upright after a murder, that murder would be likely to be accompanied by a knife attack, etc. So perhaps the new Hunt is not quite so different from the old - and he was not just doing as he was told, but also concerned personally to cover up a chAllangeable report - even one which was at that stage subject to some improper influence, whether from Hunt's own preconceptions or from other sources.

Such sources could of course (to speculate freely as one must in assessing possibilities) run the gamut from barely perceptible influences - perhaps already internalised through long civil service training - through to pants-soilingly unambiguous and explicit warnings. At one end, perhaps nothing more than a certain sluggishness in responses to the wrong kind of line of inquiry. At the other end, the full theatre of the intimidation/flattery treatment, complete with the look-but-don't-copy, the symbolic signature on the Secrets Act, the 'in-it-up-to-your-neck-now' with the emphasis on 'neck', and in amongst it all, possibly even some genuine information. You know, the kind of thing it's easy to imagine BOSS or the Mossad getting up to, but never - of course - their close allies who hang around in a certain drinking hole off Sloane Square [UPDATE 25 Nov 2010: this is a reference to the Special Forces Club - it seems that this is actually located in Herbert Crescent, behind Harrods - the near Sloane Square address fits the Directorate of Special Forces in that impressive barracks off the King's Road, Don;lt know where the confusion arose] or in that Vauxhall monstrosity. Nor their transatlantic bigger brothers who lurk in Langley and a thousand other less public-facing facilities.

Finally, I think I should register in a prominent position the fact that Allan states, as the second of his three conclusions, that Death appeared to have intervened before all the paracetamol had been absorbed from the stomach.

This seems pretty remarkable, since this can only really be read as implying that paracetamol is absorbed through the stomach. I am no expert, but so far as I can tell, that appears not to be true.

A couple of tangentially relevant bits of information:

1. Forensic technicians' subconscious bias: Radio 4's All In the Mind recently featured a discussion of cognitive bias by forensic technicians, in particular looking at the work of Itiel Dror in relation to the relatively clear-cut issue of fingerprint matching.

Drior states that Our data demonstrate that fingerprint experts were vulnerable
to biasing information when they were presented within
relatively routine day-to-day contexts, such as corroborative (or
conflicting) evidence of confession to the crime. Thus, contextual
information does not need to be extreme and unique to influence
experts in their fingerprint examination and judgement.

This is basically what I would expect, and the Radio 4 discussion actually touched on what I regard as a fairly elementary observation: that pathologists and other forensic experts ought ideally to be rigorously shielded from all other evidence of the case. However, this cannot be guaranteed to happen - for example, the pathologist attending the scene is likely to encounter all kinds of evidence strictly extraneous to his or her own investigation. Further, prioritisation of scarce resources may require some cases to be looked into more throughly than others. If so, this kind of bias needs to be factored in when assessing such expert evidence - which is why experts need to be properly cross-examined, and the coroner (or jury under a coroners's direction) needs to be the one to bring in a verdict.

(I've suggested elsewhere that this kind of issue may be relevant to the disgraceful episode of the Ian Tomlinson killing during the G20 protest/'riot'*, in which a dodgy pathologist basicalloy seems to have been able to spoil the prosecution case irreparably, at least if the CPS is to be believed. I don't actually think it is entirely to be believed in this case, but the general possibility certainly exists.)

2. Redaction - the pathologist's report was evidently redacted (censored), but the innovation of using white-on-white redaction, i.e. erasure rather than blacking out, means that we can't be sure where exactly the redactions occurred (here I'm ignoring the possibility that the document was tampered with more radically). I'm currently working my sporadic way through Annie Machon's Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers, and have just come across (p. 316) an example of a redaction blatantly unrelated to the requirements of national security and merely intended to facilitate and cover up distortion by the Security Service, as demonstrated in cross-examination during the Savile Inquiry:

...the service had redacted — or blacked out — the phrase: 'Source description, reliability not fully assessed', when it submitted the report to the enquiry:

Counsel: These are the two redacted pages of the report sent from London.214 On the face of these two pages there is no assessment of reliability that could have been copied by the officer in Belfast. However, I believe you have in front of you a small bundle of unredacted documents. Is there a code there?
Officer A: Yes, there is.
Counsel: An entry in code. Can you tell the Tribunal what the entry, if decoded, would read?
Officer A: Um, it would — which particular part of the code, all of it or the middle part?
Counsel: The purpose of my question is to ask you whether there is, within that code, any assessment of reliability? Officer A: Yes, there is.
Counsel: Can you tell me if decoded, what that assessment of reliability would read'?
Officer A: Reliability not fully established or not fully tested.

We really have to ask why MI5 felt the need to remove the assessment that Infliction's reliability was 'not fully established' from such a controversial document submitted to an official enquiry. It does not compromise the agent's identity and cannot have any implications for national security. The redaction was obviously designed to make the enquiry think that it was dealing with reliable intelligence, when it was not.


Largely as a way of documenting the fact that I am not a proponent of the mythical all-pervasive and omnipotent conspiracy (who is?), I may as well report here that I seem to have got The World at One to alter their description of the G20 events as a 'riot', if this response from Martha Kearney is anything to go by:

from WATO
date 29 June 2009 13:18
subject RE: [BBC Radio4] Contact Us Submission

fair point - it's changed in the programme itself,


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: 29 June 2009 12:41
Subject: [BBC Radio4] Contact Us Submission

Someone has completed a form on page:

Sender's name: Tim WILKINSON
Sender's email:
Sender's phone:
Sender's age:

Sender's message:
I've just heard the 12:30 trail for the World at One. In it the
G20 riots are mentioned. I must have missed those - perhaps the G20
protest drove them off the front page?

Or are you referring to That Window, broken by a tiny group of
protestors while surrounded by press photographers with police looking

All personal information supplied is held securely by the BBC and in
accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Your details will not be
used for any other service.

I got a rather different (and delayed) response from the editor to basically the same message, which I seem to have scattergunned via email:

from Tim Wilkinson
to Jamie Angus
date 12 August 2009 15:44
subject Re: Today's trail - re: G20 protests

Well, I don't think any of it could accurately be described as a riot. But thanks for the response.

2009/8/12 Jamie Angus

Hi Tim - I think we have used both terms in the past, and some of what happened was a riot whereas other parts - and I am sure you are right in that it was the majority - were protests.

It's a story I am sure we'll return to, so your comments are noted - and most welcome


PS Apologies for the delay in replying.
Jamie Angus
Editor, The World At One & The World This Weekend
07956 839 151

From: Tim Wilkinson []
Sent: 29 June 2009 12:49
To: WATO; Wato Feedback
Subject: Today's trail - re: G20 protests

I've just heard the 12:30 trail for the World at One. In it the G20 riots are mentioned. I must have missed those - perhaps the G20 protest drove them off the front page?

Or are you referring to That Window, broken by a tiny group of protestors while surrounded by press photographers with police looking on?

Given that the feature is to be about policing, kettles boiling over etc, might 'G20 protests' have been a less tendentious description?


Tim Wilkinson


  1. Hi,

    You might be interested in my critique of Dr. Hunt's postmortem:

    By the way, the recanalisation you mention (if it's real) is a natural process, rather than a sign of medical intervention. The rough scenario is that an artery can block because of a clot then, over time, the clot is dissolved to allow (at least) some blood flow past the blockage.

  2. Thanks for the correction; post updated accordingly. And for the link, at which I will have a butcher's now.

  3. Yes, some useful points that I'd missed. In particular:

    The 'punctate lesion' on the thigh. If that means a puncture mark, it's pretty important.

    The fact that there was an unknown number of drafts of this report.

    The matter of dehydration that would accompany death by slow blood loss, the suggestion being that one would expect the urine to be concentrated as a result - and if that's correct, one would certainly expect concentrated urine to be reported.

    Though maybe that's where the water bottle is supposed to come in - except that it's not actually reported as being empty - only 'open'. And 500mls would presumably not offset the loss of several litres of blood in any case.