The Identification Commission

Forum for discussion and observations regarding the 7 July 2005 inquest proceedings. See also the dedicated J7: 7/7 Inquests Blog for analysis and summaries of the proceedings:
and the official Inquests web site: Coroner's Inquest into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005.

The Identification Commission

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

01 May 2010, 03:11 #1

The Hardest Count
By ANDREA GERLIN Sunday, Jul. 17, 2005

Benedetta Ciaccia, 30, an Italian-born business analyst, was among thousands of commuters on the way to work on July 7 as suicide bombers blew themselves up on three London Underground trains and a bus. Her friends and relatives have not heard from her since, and she was not among the 47 victims who had been positively identified nine days later. "We're still waiting," Fiaz Bhatti, Ciaccia's fiancé, told TIME last week. During the wait, scores of police, medical and forensic experts were engaged in the grim but necessary task of trying to establish the identity of the victims — which is why Bhatti has been telling police about the birthmark under Ciaccia's left eye.

Friends and relatives are spreading such details in hopes that some aspect will help identify the missing: Karolina Gluck, a 29-year-old administrative worker from Poland, has a pierced belly button and carries a London 2012 Olympics key ring; health-care analyst James Mayes, 28, who was identified late last week, had hazel eyes and short brown curly hair.

As recovery crews and police investigators continue their work, forensic experts in surgical scrub suits are trying to identify the bodies of the dead at a makeshift mortuary at a military barracks in east London. The work inside the white marquees has been slow, painstaking and complex, leading to criticism from families of some of the missing. Graham Russell, whose 28-year-old son Philip died on the bus, spoke for many when he told reporters: "Any delay is crucifying people."

The experts are sympathetic, but argue that the identification process has been complicated by several factors. One of them is sheer size: in a typical year, London has only about 200 murders, so this attack represents a homicide wave. Second, bodies were severely damaged by massive explosive forces. And finally, coroners are desperate to get things right. After 58 tourists were gunned down in a 1997 attack in Luxor, Egypt, by contrast, some bodies were misidentified and sent to the wrong countries. Andrew Reid, one of two London coroners overseeing the identification process, has warned that it might take weeks for all of the bodies to be recovered and identified. "We understand the distress," Reid said, while stressing the importance of returning "the right victims to the right families."

Though London has no experience with suicide bombers, the recovery and identification efforts are drawing on a growing body of international expertise. Police chiefs in Israel, where more than 500 people have died in suicide bombings in the past five years, describe Britain's Forensic Science Service as the world's best. Scotland Yard's officers have also been gathering experience. After last year's Indian Ocean tsunami, the Yard sent officers to Thailand to help match information about British victims. Others traveled to New York City to observe mass casualty identification procedures after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

There is a protocol to such tasks. Standard international procedures begin by designating the mortuary site and forming an Identification Commission. In the London case, the commission is headed by Reid and the Westminster coroner, Paul Knapman, who led the inquest into a 1996 IRA bus bombing that killed the perpetrator; it also includes Metropolitan Police Service officers, forensic pathologists and dental experts, who act much like a tribunal in ruling on identity. Commission members study information provided by friends, relatives, doctors and dentists of the missing, and compare it to their own postmortem findings from victims' bodies, clothing and personal effects. All bodies are photographed, X-rayed and visually examined; some undergo a full autopsy.

The most reliable clues to a dead person's identity are known as primary criteria — fingerprints, dental records, DNA or implanted medical devices marked with a serial number. DNA matching is the gold standard; it requires comparison between DNA from human remains and that found, say, on a hairbrush or toothbrush belonging to the missing person, or with a close relative's DNA. The family of a woman still missing last week, 27-year-old Rachelle Lieng Siong Chung For Yuen from Mauritius, provided police with her toothbrush. Chris Hadkiss, a manager with Britain's Forensic Science Service, says his laboratory has so far analyzed DNA samples only from the suspected bombers. But he says it's "inevitable" that the lab will get around to studying DNA from victims whose bodies prove difficult to identify by other means.

Dental records are highly reliable; in many of the inquests that opened last week, they were cited as the basis for identification. The same was true after last year's tsunami. Pornthip Rojanasunan, a Thai forensic scientist who named 2,400 of the roughly 6,000 who died in Thailand, says, "The most useful method in identifying [tsunami] victims was their dental records." Coroners also rely on possessions — clothing, footwear, jewelry, watches, eyeglasses, together with scars, moles, birthmarks, tattoos and identity papers the person may have been carrying.

But for all the potential evidence available, Israeli experts expect that identifying the London victims will be very difficult. "Everything will be new to them," says Azi Zadok, head of the Israeli police's Forensic Science Division. "An exploded bus can be full of melted and burned bodies in large numbers with body parts scattered everywhere ... The bodies can be completely dismembered, with many parts scattered over hundreds of meters."

Even without such gruesome details, for those still missing relatives or friends, every passing hour is agony. "We have not heard anything," says Billy Chung For Yuen, Rachelle's husband. The uncertainty is only prolonging his suffering.

Blasts may have been pipe bombs
13:17pm 8th July 2005
The government's Forensic Science Service London manager Chris Hadkiss said his staff were "ready and waiting" to help.

Mr Hadkiss said: "We are ready and waiting to assist. The main focus of the
authorities is on the crime scenes at the moment.

"But our full range of forensic resources is ready to be deployed to provide
urgent analysis if and when required."

The Forensic Science Service is an executive agency of the Home Office,
supplying forensic science services to police forces in England and Wales.

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

01 May 2010, 03:58 #2

Richard Reynolds

Richard Reynolds is a Detective from the Counter Terrorist Command (formally known as the Anti-Terrorist Branch) based at New Scotland Yard, London. He has over 20 years experience as a Police officer, working within the Metropolitan Police Service. For the past 8 years, he has been attached to the Branch. He forms part of the Forensic Management Team within the Command. He is a scene examiner and exhibits officer, with core responsibility for bomb and scene examination, the retrieval, packaging and handling of all exhibits seized during a Terrorist related enquiry. He is the current forensic coordinator and exhibit officer for Operation Theseus (7/7 bombings). He is responsible for the coordination and submission of over 33,000 exhibits currently obtained on the enquiry, of which over 6,000 have been submitted for various forensic disciplines.

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

19 May 2010, 11:59 #3

The President introduced Dr Andrew Reid, HM Coroner, Inner North London, who presented his talk on “Normal for London” (NFL) – Coroner’s Cases From St. Pancras and Poplar, 2002-2006.

Dr Reid explained that the title of his talk was based on his experiences whilst training in Nottingham. When observing post mortems he had been puzzled by the expression “NFI” – subsequently explained as “normal for Ilkeston”. Trained as a forensic Histopathologist, he then trained as a lawyer and following a spell in various law firms, became Assistant Coroner for Nottingham. In 2002 he was appointed as Coroner for North London.

One of his first cases concerned a planned public autopsy by Professor Gunther von Hagens, whose Body Works Exhibition in had been shown in London earlier that year. Despite attempts to stop the public autopsy, Professor von Hagens and Channel 4 were determined that it would go ahead, using the legal argument that there was no law whatsoever that made a public autopsy illegal. Unfortunately he had forgotten the Coroners Act of 1988 when he said that the body was that of a girl who might be pregnant and might have died of epilepsy or suicide, which effectively raised the question of unexplained death and usurped the function of the coroner. A public autopsy did subsequently take place, but on a 75 year old German businessman who was said to have given his consent for the public post mortem.

The case of body 115, an unidentified person who had died in the Kings Cross Fire in November 1987 was another of Dr Reid’s very early cases. He explained how in 1987 the police had tried to identify the bodies by using primary evidence such as dental, fingerprints, and surgical devices with serial numbers, and secondary evidence such as scars, tattoos, hair, clothing, jewellery and documentation. At that time, DNA was not an established science. The evidence suggested that body 115 was a man aged between 40 and 60. Included in the evidence was an unnumbered aneurysm clip. A 15th anniversary service for the fire’s victims was held in November 2002, which prompted Mr Fallon’s family, who lived in Scotland to renew their inquiries about the body's possible link to their father. Permission was sought to exhume the body leading to legal disputes about whether the Coroner had power to authorize this. In the meantime however, detailed police enquiries relating to the aneurysm clip and subsequent checking of hospital records finally confirmed the identity of the body and revealed that Mr Fallon was aged 72 the time of his death.

Dr Reid described various other cause celebres in which he had been involved, including identification of the bodies of the victims of Anthony Hardy, the Camden Ripper, who had decapitated two prostitutes; their bodies were found around and in Hardy’s flat but the heads were never recovered. ID criteria included surgical enhancement code numbers and DNA.

In 2003 he was involved the inquest of Roger Sylvester. Sylvester had died in police custody in 1999 following restraint, having been found naked and banging on his own front door. The inquest verdict was unlawful killing which was subsequently overturned by the High Court; in 2007 the Independent Police Complaints Commission recommended not taking any disciplinary action against the officers involved. One of the results of this case was the recommendation to replace the term “Excited Delirium” with that of “Acute Behaviour Disorder”.

Another case which Dr Reid inherited was that of the death of Harry Stanley, who was fatally shot by the police in 1999 whilst walking home from the pub. Mr. Stanley was shot on suspicion of carrying a gun, which turned out to be a table leg in a plastic bag. The first inquest was held in 2002, juridical review in 2003, a second inquest in 2004 and further judicial review in 2005. Issues involved re-investigation of the shooting, new evidence, expert evidence on ballistics from Bill Lewinsky and a virtual reconstruction of events, leading to the CPS finding there was insufficient evidence to lead to a prosecution.

One of Dr Reid’s most severe challenges was the London bombings of 7 July 2005. There were 52 victims and 4 suspects. A state of the art mortuary was used, with digital radiography, digital teeth imaging, fluoroscopy, finger prints and DNA. Identification of the victims was made based on ante and post-mortem evidence and taken to an ID commission. No viewing of the victims was permitted until the ID had been established.

One of his recent high-profile cases was the death of Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006. Dr Reid described how the initial cause of death was thought to be thallium poisoning but subsequently established as polonium radioactivity. He described how the police had detected a trail of radioactivity across London.

Dr Reid concluded his talk by outlining the work of Inquest, an organisation which supports families involved in the Coroner’s process.

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

19 May 2010, 21:33 #4

Trying to add full names to the following witness statements re: incriminating evidence on Tanweer and Khan

Code: Select all
Appendix A : Summary of Evidence (Pages 27-28)

1.1 Binstead

1.2 Swift (Andrew Swift of Just Car Clinic)

1.3 Copper and Wilson (Detective Constable Malcolm Wilson)

1.4 Wilson, McDonald (Andrew John McDonald of Orchid Cellmark?), (Beverley)? March and Clayton

1.5 Meneely (Andrew Meneely of Met Police's Counter-Terrorism Command?) , McDonald and March

1.6 Binstead, Cheesley
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

07 Jun 2010, 11:22 #5

From Times Online
July 10, 2005
Whole world in a wounded city
Maurice Chittenden

THE posters switch from a yellow face to a white face to a black face.

A walk along the front of King’s Cross station tells the story of London’s diversity. This is the whole world in a wounded city.

The enormity of the attack hits home one photograph at a time, individual lives and dreams perhaps gone for ever.

The terrorist attack may have claimed almost as many tourists and workers from overseas as British people. Yesterday those missing feared dead included 22 Britons and 14 foreign nationals or people born overseas.

In an eerie reminder of the aftermath of September 11 in New York, some of the relatives stalk the streets showing photographs of their loved ones to anyone who will stop and listen. They go into hospitals and to police stations.

At King’s Cross they have pinned up photographs and posters appealing for information about the missing. The notices are dotted on bus shelters, builders’ hoardings, walls and lampposts.

Some of the flyers tell poignant life stories. Others are just snapshots of faces with a name and a mobile phone number.

Pawel Iskrzynski, 30, a chef from Poland, has taken the photograph of his sister Ania Brandt, 42, to the Royal London hospital and to television studios in the hope of learning what has happened to her.

She vanished while on her way by Tube from her home in Wood Green, north London, to a cleaning job in Hammersmith, west London.

As she was on her way to work, her daughter Natalia, 22, was arriving in London for a holiday and her first reunion with her mother since she left Poland three years ago to work in London.

“It is very harrowing,” said her brother. “The police have just been to see me to take a sample of my DNA. I hope it is to prove that Ania is still alive and lying injured in hospital.”

A poster of another Polish woman, Karolina Gluck, 29, is on the hoardings outside King’s Cross station. She, too, came to London to work three years ago.

“Karolina is still missing,” says the notice, which goes on to describe her as a “white female, short blonde hair, distinct blue eyes, 1.6m, belly-button piercing, Polish nationality (speaks very good English)”. The photograph shows her seated outside a restaurant in a white body warmer.

Richard Deer, her boyfriend, works for an architecture firm in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. He confides more information when you meet him. The belly button piercing is a St George cross design and the couple were planning to go to Paris the day after the bomb blasts.

“She loved living in London, she absolutely enjoyed it,” he said. “We’re trying to keep strong and we’re still hopeful. I’m still searching.”

Anat Rosenberg from Israel was talking to her boyfriend John Falding while on a bus on her way to work. He heard the blast and the terrified screams before the phone went dead.

Falding said yesterday: “The irony of all these terrible things is she was afraid of going back to Israel because she was scared of suicide bombings on buses. And if she ever saw a package that was unattended, she’d go absolutely wild. She was so security conscious.”

Another of the missing is a woman who as a child survived the Lockerbie murders of December 1988, when a bomb aboard a Pan Am jet detonated in mid-air, sending wreckage plummeting onto the Scottish town.

Helen Jones, now 28 and an accountant working in London, was a pupil at Lockerbie Academy when the plane came down, killing all 259 people on board and 11 local residents.

There is anger among some of the relatives that the police are not being quick enough to identify the dead.

The family of James Mayes, 28, an analyst for the Healthcare Commission, said they had not had a single visit from the police, only a phone call saying that they may have to supply DNA to identify him. [didn't Hasib Hussain's family have a visit from the police on the 9th?]

His sister Rachel Mayes, 31, a primary school teacher, said: “It’s our own personal hell. They are putting us through purgatory here. I feel so numb. I just don’t know what to think at the moment. I want someone to tell my family what’s going on, but I just get spoken to like I am a mentally deficient three-year-old by everyone I speak to. I wouldn’t speak to kids in my class like that.”

The area in front of the “missing” notices at King’s Cross is fast becoming London’s single largest memorial to those who died or are missing.

Throughout yesterday people came to the station to pay their respects and leave flowers and candles on the pavement.

Maria Esposito, an Italian who lives in London and whose husband spent three hours trapped underground after the bombings but was uninjured, erupted in anger as she laid a bouquet. “I am shocked. I am really, really shocked. In no Bible does it say it is right to kill innocent people,” she said.

Jesse Honey, a student from Tooting, south London, stuck a Union Jack flag to the wall above the floral tributes. Across the middle of it he had written “we are all Londoners” and around the side the names of the major faiths — Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim, Buddhism and Jewish.

“I think it’s more important now than ever to emphasise the fact that Londoners come from all (faiths) and there is absolutely no way that the attack will change that,” he said.

“Whatever ideas are in the minds of the bombers, they are completely opposed to everything Londoners hold dear.”

Yet over 70% or all, differs according to source, of the victims were identified from dental records.
DNA used to identify 7/7 bombers’ bodies

Investigation into deaths expected to last two years

BODIES of three suspected July 7 suicide bombers could only be identified through painstaking DNA analysis, St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard on Monday.

Bus bomber Hasib Hussain and Tube bombers Germaine Lindsay and Shahzad Tanweer were described by coroner Dr Andrew Reid as “passengers”, as inquests cannot apportion blame for deaths.

Police believe Hussain blew up the number 30 bus in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, killing 13 people.

Lindsay is believed to have exploded a bomb on a Piccadilly line Tube train near King’s Cross, killing 26 people, and Tanweer the bomb on the Circle line train near Liverpool Street which killed seven people.

Dr Reid heard how the body parts of Hussain, 18, and Lindsay, 19, were formally confirmed by the Identification Commission, headed by Westminster coroner Dr Paul Knapman, on July 13 and 15.

Dr Reid said: “The senior investigating manager is carrying out further DNA investigations into body parts and fragments of human tissue identified by DNA analysis as Mr Hussain’s.”

Dr Reid gave Hussain’s and Lindsay’s cause of death as “injuries caused by explosion”.

He added: “(Lindsay’s) torso was identified by DNA analysis (and) further investigations have been conducted into other body parts.”

The inquest heard how the death of Tanweer, 22, had initially come under the jurisdiction of City of London coroner Paul Matthews but had been transferred to Dr Reid, who said: “(Tanweer) died as a result of multiple injuries caused by an explosion.”

The three inquests were opened and adjourned pending police inquiries.

Interim death certificates were issued for each of the deceased.

They will be passed to the families by coroner’s officer Sharon Duff. The deaths could take up to two years to be investigated before the inquest can be concluded.

From the ISC II report
– 10 July – Pathologist reports suggest that the men later identiied as HUSSAIN, KHAN and LINDSAY were in possession of, or in close proximity to, the bombs at the times of the explosions.
–11 July – Pathologist report suggests that the man later identiied as TANWEER was in possession of the bomb at the time of the explosion.
–12 July – Checks of CCTV from Luton railway station point to the involvement of Jermaine LINDSAY. He becomes a key suspect.
–13  July – Wife of  Jermaine LINDSAY  reports her husband missing and  that he knew the occupants of the address in Lees Holm which she had seen being
–13, 15, 16 July – DNA analysis conirms that TANWEER had died at Aldgate, HUSSAIN  at Tavistock  Square, LINDSAY  at Russell  Square  and KHAN  at Edgware Road.
Theoretically all four deceased, and the strongest case is for Lindsay and Tanweer, should have been assigned a number from the Identification Commission.

From the Metropolitan Police Bureau Press Statements thread
Saturday, July 16, 2005


After continued forensic work we now believe we have identified the four men who travelled from Luton and were later seen on CCTV at King's Cross shortly before 8:30am on Thursday 7th July.

We can now confirm the identity of a third man who travelled from West Yorkshire and who died in the explosion at Edgware Road. He was Mohammed Sidique KHAN, aged 30. We believe that he was responsible for carrying out that attack.

We can also now confirm the identity of a fourth man who arrived in London with the three men from West Yorkshire and then died in the explosion between King's Cross and Russell Square underground stations. He was Germaine LINDSAY, aged 19. We believe that he was responsible for carrying out that attack.

We have previously named Hasib HUSSAIN, aged 18, who died in the explosion on the bus in Tavistock Square, and Shahzad TANWEER, aged 22, who died in the explosion at Aldgate. We believe that they were responsible for carrying out these respective attacks.

Formal identification for all of these people is a matter for the Coroner.
later in the day
The confirmed number of dead is 55. Sadly we anticipate this may rise.

7 from the Liverpool St/Aldgate incident;
7 from the Edgware Rd incident;
27 from the Kings Cross/Russell Sq incident (inc man who died in hosp on 15.7.05);
14 from the bus (inc. man who died at hospital 14.7.05).
So at least one fatality was discovered either at the scene or at the Resilience Mortuary that was sufficiently beyond recognition (i.e. multiple body parts like the alleged bombers) after the the confirmed fatalities of the four accused, which leaves Anna Brandt, Atique Sharifi and possibly (but unlikely) Benedetta Ciaccia as that last confirmed fatality.
Ciaccia, Benedetta
46 Aldgate

Sharifi, Atique
2005.07.17 (date of number being listed)
2005.07.20 (date of naming)
50 Kings Cross-Russell Square

Brandt, Anna
51 Kings Cross-Russell Square
Monday, July 18, 2005

Victim [46] is a woman (NOT FOR PUBLICATION: We await confirmation from the family before releasing details).

Wednesday, July 20 2005

[50] Mr Atique Sharifi, an Afghani national (from Russell Sq. scene)
Ania Brandt was listed in news reports at least as early as the 9th. Benedetta Ciaccia was listed on the 9th as well but Atique Sharifi's name first appeared on the 21st.
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

07 Aug 2010, 12:32 #6

Following on from a post by numeral in the David Kelly thread
Pathologist's errors brought agony for serviceman's family

Published Date: 03 August 2010
By Martin Slack

ERRORS by a pathologist who examined the body of a Yorkshire serviceman killed in Afghanistan led to an agonising delay which was slammed as "utterly wrong" by a coroner yesterday.

Donald Coutts-Wood said he would be reporting his concerns after serious problems emerged over documents related to the death of Senior Aircraftman Christopher Bridge.

SAC Bridge was killed on August 30, 2007, when the Land Rover he was travelling in hit an improvised explosive device while on patrol around Kandahar Airfield.

His body was repatriated to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire and taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

At an inquest in Sheffield yesterday, Mr Coutts-Wood said this was carried out by a Home Office registered pathologist, Dr Nicholas Hunt.

His report was included in evidence to be heard at an inquest last December but errors were found by SAC Bridge's mother Nicolette Williams, which cast doubt on the identity of the body.

Because Dr Hunt was ill and could not attend, Mr Coutts-Wood was forced to stop the inquest and ask for new reports to verify the body was SAC Bridge.

Eventually an independent report was commissioned, which uncovered a catalogue of discrepancies between notes from the original post-mortem examination and subsequent reports.

Mistakes included dates on some of Dr Hunt's reports, which appeared to have been written on August 25, 2007 – five days before SAC Bridge was killed in action with C flight, 51 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment.

Heights, weight, hair colour, eye colour and the presence of tattoos on the body were not consistent, with one report stating a weight of 98kg and another 68kg.

The inquest was told the investigation process took more than six
months, leaving SAC Bridge's mother, from the Shiregreen area of Sheffield, and the rest of her family in limbo.

Returning an official verdict that SAC Bridge was unlawfully killed while on active service, the coroner thanked Mrs Williams for her patience and added: "This delay was utterly wrong and I shall be making appropriate reports."

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Last Updated: 02 August 2010 10:09 PM
Source: n/a
Location: Yorkshire

some more news links on Dr Nicholas Hunt
Husband of first-named victim tells of family's devastation
Evening Standard; London (UK), Jul 11, 2005 | by ED HARRIS

THE husband of the first person confirmed dead in the London bombings today said he had been left "distraught" by her death.

Susan Levy, 53, a mother of two sons, Daniel, 25, and James, 23, from Cuffley in Hertfordshire, had not been seen since taking the Piccadilly line to work last Thursday.

Her husband Harry, driver of a black cab, spoke as an inquest into his wife's death was opened and adjourned at St Pancras Coroner's Court this morning.

In a statement, he said: "Susan was a devoted and much-loved wife and mother of two sons. We are all devastated by our loss.

She was a valued and respected member of her extended Jewish family and will be deeply mourned and sadly missed by us and her many friends.

"On the morning of Thursday 7 July, Susan and her son Jamie left for work in central London. They parted at Finsbury Park and she continued her journey by travelling on the train that was victim of one of the appalling terrorist attacks that claimed so many lives.

"We are all distraught at her needless loss and our thoughts and our prayers are also with the many other families who have been affected by this horrendous tragedy."

At the sombre opening of this morning's inquest, the coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, was told that Mrs Levy was taken to hospital suffering from massive injuries after the terror attack. She died later that day from "injuries caused from an explosion".

The coroner's officer, Sharon Duff, told the court: "Mrs Levy was one of the mass fatalities.

"She was initially classified as an unidentified victim of one of the incidents and was taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where she died as a result of her injuries.

"She was subsequently identified through the process being led by the Metropolitan Police Service as part of their investigation into the mass fatalities on that day.

"A cause of death has been given by the pathologist, Dr Nicholas Hunt, as injuries caused by an explosion."
Dr Reid concluded the twominute hearing by asking Mrs Duff: "Would you also please pass on my sincere sympathy and condolences to members of Mrs Levy's family."

The coroner issued interim death certificates and adjourned the inquest to a later date pending further investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

No members of Mrs Levy's family were at the hearing.

She was the first victim to be named by a specially-convened Identification Commission, which is led by a coroner, pathologist, senior police officer and orthodontist.

Supported by hundreds of police officers and staff, it is using a variety of techniques to identify the victims, ranging from dental records and fingerprints to DNA and medical histories.

A makeshift mortuary has been set up at the headquarters of the Honourable Artillery Company, in City Road, where the bodies of the 49 people that have so far been recovered from the wreckage left by the atrocities have been laid.

However, police believe that the the number of dead may eventually rise to about 60.

Further inquests are expected to be opened tomorrow as formal identifications are completed.
©2005. Associated Newspapers Ltd.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

Fury over soldiers' corpses slide show

Published Date: 03 August 2005
Julie Hemmings

Families of British servicemen murdered in Iraq have demanded action against a pathologist who showed pictures of the men's mutilated bodies in a slide show for travel agents.

Dr Nicholas Hunt used photographs of three Royal Military Policemen's butchered corpses during a seminar on how to set up temporary mortuaries in disaster zones, the dead men's grieving parents said.

The three bodies he allegedly displayed are understood to be those of Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, from Bala, Wales; Cpl Simon Miller, 21, from Washington, Tyne and Wear; and Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, from Chessington, Surrey.

The other men killed by an Iraqi mob in the town of Majar al Kabir in June 2003 were L/Cpl Ben Hyde, 23, from Northallerton; Cpl Russell Aston, 30, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire; and Cpl Paul Graham Long, 24, from Colchester, Essex.

Dr Hunt, who works in Oxfordshire, performed post mortem examinations on the three men after they were flown back to RAF Brize Norton.

The father of Cpl Miller, John Miller, said he was unwilling to accept an apology from Dr Hunt and was consulting his lawyer.

He added: "I don't want to speak to him (Dr Hunt). I want action to be taken. I don't see why he should get away with this."

Mr Miller said he found out about the slide show last week, after asking the
Ministry of Defence (MoD) to send him copies of every Army-related document featuring his son's name.

He said the material he received included three e-mails and a letter circulated between the MoD and the Oxfordshire coroner and it emerged in the documents that Dr Hunt had displayed pictures of three Red Caps on whom he had performed post mortems.

Mr Miller, 54, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, said: "Dr Hunt showed these pictures without mentioning it to the families.

"We would never have given permission anyway."

He said the documents suggest the seminar took place over two days in February 2004 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and was attended by travel agents, council officials and public service workers.

In the slides displayed, the three men's bodies were naked save for strips obscuring their genitals and faces.

"What makes it worse is that we have never seen our son in that state – we were not allowed," Mr Miller said.

"Then, before an inquest had even been held, all and sundry were able to have a look. It has caused us real distress."

L/Cpl Keys's mother Sally, 52, said from her home in North Wales: "I just object to my son being used as an exhibit without my permission. Even if he is dead, he is still our son."

John Hyde, father of Ben Hyde, said his son would not have been bothered but it was upsetting that permission was not sought from the families.

"It's the total disregard for anyone's feelings," said Mr Hyde.

"The wider aspect is how may other people have they done it with lads who have been wounded or mutilated."

Dr Hunt, who works at the John Radcliffe Hospital mortuary in Oxford, was unavailable for comment yesterday but is reported to have said he deeply regrets causing the families any offence and is offering them a full apology.

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Last Updated:
Source: n/a
Location: Yorkshire

Pictures of mutilated servicemen shown to travel agents
Western Mail (Cardiff); Aug 3, 2005; p. 14

Full Text:
(Copyright 2005 Western Mail and Echo Ltd.)

Families of British servicemen murdered in Iraq yesterday demanded action against a pathologist who showed pictures of the men's mutilated bodies in a slide show for travel agents. Dr Nicholas Hunt used photographs of three Royal Military Policemen's butchered corpses during a seminar on how to set up temporary mortuaries in disaster zones, the dead men's grieving parents said.

The three bodies he allegedly displayed are understood to be Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, from Bala in North Wales, Corporal Simon Miller, 21, and Sergeant Simon Hamilton- Jewell, 41.

Prior to the conference, Dr Hunt, who works in Oxfordshire, had performed post mortem examinations on the three men after they were flown back to RAF Brize Norton.

The trio were among six Red Caps slaughtered by Iraqi locals in the town of Majar al Kabir in June 2003.

Lance Corporal Keys's mother Sally, 52, said from her home in North Wales, 'I just object to my son being used as an exhibit without my permission.'

She added, 'Even if he is dead, he is still our son.'

John Miller, father of Corporal Miller, yesterday said he was unwilling to accept an apology from Dr Hunt and is consulting his lawyer.

He added, 'I don't want to speak to him (Dr Hunt). I want action to be taken. I don't see why he should get away with this.'

Mr Miller said he found out about the slide show last week.

This was after asking the MoD to send him copies of every Army- related document featuring his son's name.

He said that among the material he received were three emails and a letter circulated between the MoD and the Oxfordshire coroner.

It emerged in the documents that Dr Hunt had displayed pictures of three Red Caps on whom he had performed post mortem examinations, he said.

Mr Miller, 54, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, said, 'Dr Hunt showed these pictures without mentioning it to the families. We would never have given permission anyway.'

He said the documents suggest the seminar took place over two days in February 2004 in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Attended by travel agents, council officials and public service workers, it was about setting up temporary mortuaries in the event of a disaster, Mr Miller said.

Recalling events of June 2003, he said his son had been 'slaughtered,' shot 17 times and 'given a kicking for good measure'.

In the slides displayed, the three fallen Red Caps' bodies were naked save for strips obscuring their genitals and faces.

'What makes it worse is that we have never seen our son in that state - we were not allowed,' Mr Miller said.

'Then, before an inquest had even been held, all and sundry were able to have a look. It has caused us real distress.'

Dr Hunt said, 'I deeply regret causing the families any offence and I will give them a full apology.'

A lab assistant at the John Radcliffe Hospital mortuary, where Dr Hunt works, said, 'Dr Hunt's in the middle of a post mortem examination right now. Then he's got a meeting. He's a very busy man.'
Relatives flee details of Red Caps killing
Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 16, 2006

The devastating details of how a young Red Cap was beaten with a rifle butt, punched in the face then shot in the head and chest after his unit was set on by an Iraqi mob were heard by an inquest yesterday.

Corporal Simon Miller was one of six Royal Military Policemen to die at the hands of a furious mob at a police station in the southern Iraqi city of Al Majar Al Kabir in Maysan Province on June 24, 2003. Next to him, Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, from Bala, Gwynedd, is thought to have clutched his knees to his chest as he was executed by a shot to the head at close range, the inquest heard.

Yesterday, as pathologists at the Oxfordshire inquest into the deaths worked their way through a relentless report of gun shot wounds inflicted on the two and their colleagues Sergeant Simon Hamilton- Jewell and Corporal Russell Aston, relatives of the men ran from the court in tears.

The inquest heard yesterday how Cpl Aston, 30, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, was shot 13 times with a rifle using 7.62 millimetre ammunition - the same size bullet used in a Kalashnikov assault rifle - not 5.56 millimetre rounds used in the British Army's SA80 weapon.

Forensic pathologist Dr Nathaniel Carey said apart from a few grazes possibly sustained as his body fell, no other assault type injuries were found on Cpl Aston's body. He said it was impossible to say in what order the shots had been fired but said they could have come all in one hail of bullets from an automatic assault rifle.

He specifically apologised to Cpl Aston's father Mike and the other families for reporting the injuries in 'such a dead-pan manner'. 'It must be absolutely awful for you and I can only apologise that you have had to hear this,' he said.

Forensic scientist Peter Brookes said 41-year-old Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell had been struck by at least 14 bullets, five of which remained in the body and came from a Kalashnikov-type machine gun. He said the bullets had entered the body from left to right in an upward direction. 'This suggests that the deceased may have been lying on his left side during much of the shooting,' he said. The body of L/Cpl Keys had 18 gunshot wounds, most significantly to his temple and his shins, the inquest heard.

Pathologist Dr Hunt said the latter wounds were likely to have been caused as L/Cpl Keys clutched his knees against his stomach or knelt on the ground. Of other injuries, such as bruising and abrasions over much of his body, he said, 'In my experience of dealing with the military deaths there were more than you would expect in a normal combat-type death.'

The coroner asked, 'Do you consider them an indication of some kind of assault?' Dr Hunt, 'They could have been, yes.'

Cpl Miller, 21 from Washington, Tyne and Wear, the inquest heard, had a black eye from being punched, bruises to his chest where he is thought to have been hit with a rifle butt, and grazes on his back suggesting he had been dragged. He also suffered a single, fatal gunshot wound to his face and two or three wounds in his chest where he had been shot at close range, according to Dr Hunt.

After the inquest, Mr Aston said hearing the details of the injuries was 'not something anyone should have to go through'. He added, 'I'm relieved there is no sign of restraining, mistreatment or torture (on Cpl Aston) but unfortunately some of the other families were not so lucky. For my son it went pretty quickly.'

The inquest was adjourned for the day and is expected to resume today with pathology evidence into the deaths of the remaining two Red Caps, Lance Corporal Benjamin John McGowan Hyde, 23, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire and Corporal Paul Graham Long, 24, from Colchester, Essex.:

Families' questions on bodies 'slide show' blocked:

The families of three Red Caps killed by an Iraqi mob were yesterday blocked from questioning a Home Office pathologist who was said to have shown pictures of the men's mutilated bodies in a slide show for travel agents.

The families of the dead servicemen accuse Dr Nicholas Hunt of using photographs of three of the six Royal Military Policemen's butchered corpses during a seminar on how to set up temporary mortuaries in disaster zones.

At the inquest into the deaths of the six servicemen in Oxford yesterday, coroner Nicholas Gardiner refused to allow the families' solicitor, John MacKenzie, to question Dr Hunt over his use of the pictures.

The brother of one of the dead servicemen later pursued Dr Hunt into the street to demand an apology on behalf of the grieving relatives. 'When do we get an apology? Why have you not approached the families?' asked Tony Hamilton-Jewell, brother of Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell.

Dr Hunt replied, 'It is regrettable but that is the advice I have been given and I do not want to go against that, as much as I would like to.'

Earlier, the coroner blocked questions to Dr Hunt over his use of the pictures. The three bodies Dr Hunt allegedly displayed were understood to be those of Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, Corporal Simon Miller, 21, and Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41.

Reg Keys, the father of Thomas Keys, said yesterday he was told by the Ministry of Defence that his son's body was 'definitely not viewable'. He added,'Yet the next thing you know pictures of his body are being put up on a slide show. 'It is a disgrace. We were not even asked, but we would not have given our permission anyway.'

The General Medical Council confirmed later that it was 'looking into' the families' claims regarding Dr Hunt's use of the pictures of the murdered Red Caps. A spokeswoman said, 'All complaints could possibly result in a hearing before our fitness to practise panel.'

COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning

Victims of a deadly 100ft fireball How Scots were first to die in a suicide attack


15 Dec 2005

SOLDIERS described yesterday how three Scots colleagues became the first British troops to be killed in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq.

Sergeant Stuart Gray, 31, Private Paul Lowe, 19, and Private Scott McArdle, 22, all from the Black Watch and from Fife, died in a blast at a checkpoint during their regiment's deployment to Camp Dogwood, south west of Baghdad. They were blown 30 yards into a ditch by flames that shot 100ft in the air, an inquest was told. An expert said they had been killed by the "blast wave".

The soldiers were supporting US troops who were attacking the insurgent stronghold of Falluja. A local interpreter assisting the troops was also killed by the explosion.

The deaths happened on November 4 last year on a road about 16 miles from their base, east of the Euphrates river, the inquest in Oxford was told.

The soldiers had been due to meet an American unit, but when they were delayed it was decided to set up a vehicle checkpoint to secure the area.

The dead men had been manning the checkpoint on the ground between two Warrior armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

The controversial deployment of BlackWatch troops to Camp Dogwood, close to Baghdad and away from British-controlled southern Iraq, was ordered to free up US troops for a major assault on Falluja.

Nicholas Gardiner, the Oxfordshire coroner, recorded verdicts of unlawful killing on the three soldiers.

Recalling events at the hearing, Private AndrewMcMenemy said he witnessed "flames 100ft in the air"when the car bomber struck.

He said he saw a saloon car being driven by a local man approaching the checkpoint. Moments after it was flagged down, the vehicle exploded into what he described was a fireball which lifted him into the air.

Private McMenemy said that as he was treated for injuries to his arms and legs, the checkpoint came under mortar attack.

Another survivor, Private Damien Gonsales, said: "I remember seeing a red Opal Omega carwhich appeared to be travelling at a normal speed and it slowed down as it approached. All of a sudden it exploded in front of me."

He said he was between 10 and 20 yards away from the blast, which caused him extensive injuries.

The soldiers' commanding officer, Lieutenant Alexander Ramsey, said he had just stepped into the turret of an APC when he heard and felt what was "clearly a big explosion". He said: "Initially the only casualty I remember seeing was the locally employed civilian (interpreter) about 10 metres in front."

The other three victims had been thrown into a ditch 30 yards away. Mr Ramsey said a crater left by the blast was six to eight feet wide and two feet deep.

Staff Sergeant Michael Batten, from the Army's Special Investigation Branch, said his team could not get near the blast site because it was too dangerous. He said while the three BlackWatch soldiers had been the first UK soldiers to be killed in this way in Iraq, from then on suicide bombers were constantly circling the troops.

Nicholas Hunt, a pathologist, said the soldiers were killed by the force of the blast.

He said the trio's body armour, protecting the heart area, would have stopped shrapnel but would have been of little use against the blast wave as they were so close to it.

Craig Lowe, 18, also a Black Watch soldier, had said his brother Paul had not believed in the "money and oil"war that claimed his life, and called for troops to be withdrawn.

McArdle's fiancee, Sarah McLaren, gave birth to a baby daughter three months after his death. His mother, Sandra McArdle, earlier this year condemned the BBC's decision to show a film of the attack on her son in a documentary, The New al Qaeda.

Family members attending yesterday's inquest were too distressed to comment afterwards.

As the Oxford inquest was sitting, it emerged that Iraqi border guards had discovered another cache of explosives aimed at killing British soldiers in the area.

The weapons were found around 12 miles from the Iranian frontier, close to the border between Basra and Maysan provinces in British-controlled southern Iraq.

Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK

Muslim soldier's death 'unlawful'

The inquest heard special clothing would not have saved L/Cpl Hashmi
A verdict of unlawful killing has been recorded on the first British Muslim soldier to be killed during the conflict in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Jabron Hashmi, 24, of Bordesley Green, Birmingham, died during a rocket attack on a building on 1 July 2006, an inquest at Oxford Coroners Court heard.

The same verdict was also recorded on his colleague, Cpl Peter Thorpe, 27, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Coroner Andrew Walker said the attack was "nothing short of murder".


Forensic pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt said L/Cpl Hashmi died from a shrapnel wound to the neck. Cpl Thorpe died from a projectile wound to the chest.

Pakistani born L/Cpl Hashmi had been in the army since 2004 and was posted to the Royal Signals in January 2006.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 16:32 GMT

Confusion over bodyguard's death

An inquest into the death of a British bodyguard working in Iraq has heard differing versions as to how he died.

Former Royal Marines Commando Paul Chadwick, 23, died following the incident in Taza, near Kirkuk, in 2004.

One colleague said Mr Chadwick, from Nailsworth, Gloucs., accidentally shot himself in the neck while another said he put the gun to his own head.

A US doctor who examined his body said he believed he had been killed by a blow to the head with a blunt object.

Mr Chadwick had been working as a close protection officer for London-based security firm Armour Group.

The inquest in Oxford heard how he had been drinking whisky with two colleagues - which was forbidden by their firm because it was deemed dangerous to handle firearms under the influence - in one of their rooms when the incident happened.

James Booker said the Mr Chadwick had been trying to clear his Glock 9mm pistol. He said he had only partially taken the gun magazine off, meaning a round could have been taken out and loaded without his knowledge.

It needs to be fully removed in order for the gun to be cleaned safely.

He said: "I noticed that he hadn't taken the magazine off, at which point I said something to him, not to muck around. I turned away and then heard a gunshot."

Julian McClusky said he believed it was a deliberate act, that he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

An inquiry was launched after a US doctor said Mr Chadwick had suffered a blow to the back of the head.

Lt Col Donald Reed Jnr, of the US Army Forward Surgical Team, had raised suspicions about the Armour Group staff who brought him to hospital, saying he thought they were "disinterested".

'Callous disregard'

Mr Booker and Mr McCluskey were not among them.

He said: "Paul's colleagues didn't show the normal extreme grief, but appeared quite disinterested."

He said he found no gun residue around the injury, no bullet exit wound and no bullet in his head - this was later found in the ceiling of the room where the incident happened.

Home Office pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt discounted this, saying a gunshot caused the fatal injury, however he said it was impossible to say whether it was self-inflicted

Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Selena Lynch said if Lt Col Reed was based in the UK, she would call him as a witness to explain his evidence.

'Very emotional'

The hearing was read a statement by an American witness, Warren Franzen, of engineering firm Betchel Corporation, who said he was awoken by a gunshot then a commotion in which he heard someone shout: "I'm gonna kill you, you're dead, you're going to get a bullet."

Several witnesses said they saw Mr McCluskey kick Mr Chadwick as he lay bleeding on the floor.

Mr Booker confirmed he had seen this, but added: "It was just huge frustration. He wasn't responding to anyone. It was very, very emotional. This was his friend."

Mr McCluskey denied he had been "angry or upset" as colleagues fought to save Mr Chadwick, saying: "I was slightly in shock" and that Mr Franzen's account was "absolutely ridiculous".

The inquest continues.

7 June 2010 Last updated at 11:44

Man collapses and dies in street in Market Drayton

A man has collapsed and died following a incident in the street in Shropshire.

West Mercia Police were called to Sambrook Crescent, Market Drayton, just after 1730 BST following reports of a disturbance.

They arrested a man in his thirties who collapsed moments later and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

His identity is not yet known and police are investigating why he was there as he is not thought to be local.

Det Chief Insp Steve Tonks said details of the incident were still being investigated.
'Not recognised'

"I am anxious to establish how and why he came to be in Sambrook Crescent," he said.

"He appears to be a stranger to the area and was not recognised by local residents who saw him."

Mr Tonks said a post mortem examination was carried out on Sunday by Home Office pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt.

A cause of death has yet to be given pending the results of medical tests.

A full report is being prepared for Mid and North Shropshire coroner John Ellery.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a matter of routine.

Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 20:41 GMT

Suicide prisoner was given razors

A man who shot dead his estranged wife and sister-in-law killed himself with razor blades given to him by prison staff, an inquest has heard.

Stuart Horgan, 39, a bricklayer, from Plaistow, London, was on remand at HMP Woodhill, Buckinghamshire.

He was in the jail's segregation unit after being taken off suicide watch.

He was arrested after Vicky Horgan, 27, and her sister Emma Walton, 25, were shot dead at a barbecue in Highmoor Cross, Oxfordshire, on 6 June 2004.

On 20 June, Father's Day, Horgan was found dead in his blood-spattered cell by the jail's Anglican chaplain, Melvyn Gardner.

Gunned down

"As I opened the hatch (in the cell door), I was immediately aware of brown stuff all over the place, which I thought was probably blood," he told the inquest jury.

Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt gave the cause of death as hanging and incised wounds to the neck.

Horgan obtained the razor on the morning of his death from jail staff, the inquest heard.

He had managed to convince staff he was not a suicide risk.

The jury at the civic offices in Milton Keynes was told how Horgan had gunned down the two women at a family barbecue.

The mother of the victims, Jacqueline Bailey, was also seriously injured in the attack, which took place in front of Ms Horgan's two daughters, aged four and seven - the youngest of whom is Horgan's.


He was arrested the day after the shooting near a pub in Peterborough and was remanded into custody at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire, where he was put on 24-hour suicide watch.

He was taken off three days later when he was transferred to HMP Woodhill and staff reassessed him and considered him "level-headed".

The day before he killed himself, he took advice from a fellow prisoner after speaking of the desire to end his life.

He also told the prisoner that he wanted his wife dead because "they did not get on too well" and that his marital problems stemmed from his alcoholism.

The inquest was adjourned until Tuesday.

Suicide of gay vicar's killer
By Standard Reporter Last updated at 00:00am on 23.04.02

A gay vicar found naked in his sitting room was stabbed to death nine times with a kitchen knife by a young man he took to his home who later killed himself, an inquest heard today.

Father David Paget, 46, of St Andrews Church Vicarage, West Kensington, was found dead on 30 May last year. Forensic science evidence linked the attack with a 29-year-old man who died from multiple injuries when he fell 100 feet to his death from the 10th floor of a tower block in Bow.

An unlawful killing verdict was recorded at West London Coroner's Court on Father Paget, before a second inquest on David Watkins, 29, of Bethnal Green, was due to go ahead.

Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt said that there was a major stab wound to the chest that was "close to full force" and five other chest wounds, two to the bowel and one to the hip area.

He died as a result of stab wounds "principally" in the chest, mostly inflicted with moderate force although the first was "close to full force", said Deputy Coroner Elizabeth Pygott. The cause of death was stab wounds to the chest and there were no defensive injuries.

Detective Inspector Geoffrey Baker said on 30 May last year between 10.30am and 11am the naked body was found by the parish treasurer, Janet Hodge. "Inquiries were made at the nearby Queens tennis club and a security officer recalled that the previous night he spotted a suspicious male walking around the perimeter. He appeared to have been drinking, and wanted directions to the Underground and wanted to go to Bethnal Green. He was directed to Barons Court."

Closed circuit television at the club and at Barons Court was examined and outside the garden of the vicarage was a spot of blood. There was also a kitchen knife forced into the ground beside the tennis courts.

The security guard put together an e-fit and some items from the address, cigarette butts, a bottle of wine and beer cans were sent for examination.

After circulation of the e-fit, Mr Baker was contacted by Pc Mark Newbury who believed the e-fit bore a similarity to "a suicide victim he dealt with on 1 June". DNA tests on four out of eight butts were a match for David Watkins with three matching Father Paget. Fingerprints from the bottle were matched to Watkins and the blood spot. Blood on the knife was a match for Father Paget. CCTV tapes from West Kensington Tube station on 29 May showed the two leaving the station.

Recording the verdict Miss Pygott said even if the assailant was acting under provocation or diminished responsibility, it was an unlawful killing - a "deliberate assault intended to cause death or at least serious injury".

Reader views (1)

There has still been no independent enquiry into the death of David Watkins as the mental health trust responsible for David's care claim that as he had not been found guilty in a criminal court of killing Father Paget they are not obligated to have one.

- Judith Feld, West Wickham, 22/01/2008 11:09

Christopher Price (broadcaster)



Towards the end of April 2002 he was off work for a week with an acute ear infection. On 22 April 2002 he failed to turn up for work and his close friends Robert Nisbet and Stephanie West went to his flat in Wells Street, off Oxford Street, in central London and found Price dead. Forensic pathologist Dr. Nicholas Hunt told the coroner's court on 19 June 2002 that Price had died of heart failure caused by meningoencephalitis - an 'extremely rare' condition that had probably spread from his ear infection. Police found a small quantity of cocaine and prescription weight-loss drugs in Price's flat but they were not connected to his death.[3]

Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Presenter killed by rare infection


Coroner Paul Knapman described police photos showing a flat dotted with soft drink cans and takeaway boxes.

Mr Wilson dismissed suggestions that Price was feeling depressed or suicidal and said he had made good new friends and was looking forward to new projects at work.

He told the court: "Christopher was a very reflective man. He thought very deeply about all sorts of things.

"In the last months he was probably happier than he had been for many years."

Dr Nicholas Hunt, who conducted the post-mortem on Price, said tests on his brain revealed the presence of meningoencephalitis.

Speaking after the inquest he said it was extremely rare and he had only seen it two or three times before in more than 3,000 post-mortems.

Dr Hunt said the autopsy had also revealed that arteries in Price's heart had hardened to a degree unusual in a 34-year-old.

'Meticulous examination'

He said there were a number of minor grazes on Price's body consistent with having stumbled around the flat.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, the coroner said: "Only an autopsy including meticulous examination of the brain has given us the truth of the matter.

"It's particularly unfortunate that a person of his age should die of such a condition."

#Dr Nicholas Hunt

# The Home Office pathologist was asked by Thames Valley Police to go to Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire, the secluded beauty spot where Dr Kelly's body was found on 18 July.

# Dr Hunt told the inquiry he was escorted to Dr Kelly's body, adding: "He was lying on his back, fully clothed, with his boots on. His left arm was towards his side, his right arm was over his chest area."

# A pruning knife was found next to Dr Kelly, along with bloodstains on his body and in the undergrowth and soil on his left-hand side.

# Dr Hunt said a series of incised wounds and cuts were found on the left arm and wrist

# An artery had been severed and there were a series of "hesitation marks", or cuts made before deeper incisions.

# There were three minor grazes to the side of the scientist's head, consistent with being in contact with undergrowth, and minor skin bruises to his knees and chest, which could have happened while stumbling or walking through the woods.

# Dr Hunt said there were no indications of defensive injuries which would have happened if someone had been trying to "parry blows from a weapon or trying to grab a weapon".

# "At the time of his death, Dr Kelly had significant amount of narrowing of the arteries to the heart, his coronary artery," said Dr Hunt. "That was the only positive evidence of natural disease but I could not find evidence that he had had a heart attack as a consequence of that."

# Dr Hunt estimated the time of the weapons' expert's death to have been between 1615 on 17 July and 0115 the following day.

# Wounds on his body were consistent with someone wishing to cause themselves harm, said Dr Hunt. The fact that Dr Kelly was found in a quiet beauty spot suggested that he may have intentionally tried to harm himself.

# Dr Hunt said there were no signs that Dr Kelly had been "overpowered" by any volatile chemical like chloroform or had been subjected to "any sustained, violent assault prior to his death".

# Blood loss was the cause of death with a drug overdose listed as a possible contributing factor, Dr Hunt's report said.

And in his report for the coroner, Home Office pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt concluded either of two of the cuts to Dr Kelly's wrist, which had been made by a blade, would have proved fatal.

Dr Hunt said the 59-year-old had probably been unaware he was suffering from "furred arteries".

He said another contributory factor may have been a drugs overdose.

Earlier, Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist who examined the body as it was slumped against a tree in an Oxfordshire woodland, said there were at least five cuts to Dr Kelly's left wrist.

The wrist wounds were typical of self-inflicted injury, said Dr Hunt.

He said bruises and minor grazes on Dr Kelly's body may have been caused by him "stumbling" to the scene.

But there were no signs of defensive injuries that would occur as a result of somebody trying to parry blows from a weapon, he said.

Neither was there evidence of the scientist being restrained, strangled or dragged to the woodland spot.

Dr Hunt said the major cause of the scientist's death were the wounds to his wrist and the overdose of prescription painkiller Coproxamol and the narrowing of arteries to his heart.

Electric pads found on Dr Kelly's chest at the time of his death had been applied by paramedics trying to revive him, the Oxfordshire coroner added.

An amended medical report by Home Office pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt concluded either of two of the cuts to his wrist, which had been made by a blade, would have proved fatal.

After the inquest Dr Hunt said the 59-year-old had probably been unaware he was suffering from "furred arteries".

The condition "affected many men his age", Dr Hunt added.

Detectives examined the letter and some 500 other documents, including a detailed post-mortem report, concluding the scientist was the victim of a ‘homicide’, allegedly written by Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic pathologist who gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry about the cause of Dr Kelly’s death.

But all the documents were fakes. They are in fact the work of Susan Tompkins Bateman, 40, who lives in a three-bedroom former council house in the Leicestershire village of Fleckney which she shares with her teenage daughter, her husband Andy, who is the Customer Service Champion of the Year at the local Co-op shop, and her parents, parish councillors Kathleen and Keith Tompkins, a retired lorry driver.

Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Tragic experiment led to girl's death

A curiosity about suicides by hanging led to the death of a 10-year-old girl, an inquest has heard.

Oxford Coroner's Court heard that shortly before her death, Natasha Holmes-Smith had read articles about people taking their lives by hangings in newspapers.

She was found suspended from her bunk bed by the cord of her dressing gown by her nine-year-old sister, Tilly at her home in Leach Road, Bicester, on 17 November last year.

Coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded a verdict of misadventure at Thursday's hearing.

Alarm raised

Tilly's brother, Tyrone, 14, had been looking after Natasha and her little sister on the Saturday morning while their mother, Janice Clarke, 35, was working as a waitress.

The inquest heard that Natasha had gone off to her bedroom in a slight "huff" after he had confiscated a book she was reading which he felt was inappropriate.

The teenager was playing computer games in his bedroom with a friend Craig Smith, 17, when Tilly raised the alarm.

He told the hearing how they found Natasha hanging from the bedpost and got her down.

Tyrone tried to resuscitate her, following advice over the phone from paramedics after dialling 999, but she was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Mrs Clarke told the hearing that her daughter had been puzzled by an article in a newspaper a few months earlier about a boy who hanged himself after being bullied.

She said: "She couldn't understand how he died. She thought you had to be strangled.

"She wasn't depressed. She just asked questions about what she read in the paper.

Cardiac arrest

"The morning that she died she read the papers after I read them and there was a story about a doctor, aged 29, who had hung himself.

"She read the article and it might have reminded her about what she had asked about earlier."

Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt told the hearing that pressure to her neck had caused cardiac arrest.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Clarke said it was impossible to advise other parents how to avoid such a tragedy.

She said: "You just can't understand a child's mind. They are brought up to be curious and to learn and tragically it lead to her death."

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

17 Oct 2010, 17:28 #7


Disaster victim identification has long been a role of the Directorate of Forensic Services. In December 2005, it faced its biggest challenge, the south Asian tsunami. MPS forensic staff were some of the first to attend and they set up processes for taking photographs, fingerprints and DNA from victims. These were taken on board by other international agencies and seen as the benchmark for effective identifi cation.

The methodology for this centred around the matching of post-mortem biometrics from victims with ante-mortem information recovered from various personal locations, such as the victim’s home, workplace or members of their family.

The DNA information was loaded onto a new software system that quickly matched
the information. This was the first time that this had been used in the UK and it establishd practices that became vital after the bombings of 7 July. This knowledge led to the quick identification of victims, which reduced the suffering of family and friends.
Source : Metropolitan Police Service - The Job; Issue 6; October 2006
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro