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The Unnatural Death of Dr. Kelly

The Unnatural Death of Dr. Kelly 

Presented by Dr. David Halpin 15th September 2021

Recorded by Terry Rogers/Rick Purnell

After the summer break, for our first meeting in October members returned to a ‘live’ meeting at Richard Newton Hall all safely masked and distanced.

The speaker was Dr David Halpin M.B,. B.S., F.R.C.S. on the topic the unnatural death of Dr David Kelly, Do you remember who Dr. David Christopher Kelly CMG was?

Dr Kelly was the Government scientist involved in the hunt for 'weapons of mass destruction' (WMDs) in the run up to the war against Iraq in 2003, A few months later, Dr Kelly was unmasked as the assumed source of a BBC story challenging the claim that WMDs existed, which turned out to be true.

Dr Halpin gave a very interesting talk focussing on the inconsistencies in the account which was officially issued regarding the events surrounding the death of Dr Kelly.

The body of Dr Kelly was found in a wood near his home in Oxfordshire, and it was reported that he had died from a cut to his wrist, and a drug overdose.

In the speaker’s experience as an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, the cutting of the ulna artery, which is about the size of a matchstick, in Dr Kelly’s wrist, would have been insufficient to cause death by bleeding. The drugs which were found in his body were painkillers, and had Dr Kelly wished to kill himself by that means he was sufficiently knowledgeable to use more efficacious substances.

Other instances high-lighted were the speed at which Lord Falconer (an ex-flatmate of Tony Blair) set up an inquiry into the death – before the body had been formally identified – which overrode an inquest into the death. The inquiry itself was not open in the usual sense, with some relevant witnesses as to Dr Kelly’s state of mind immediately before his death not being called, and some parts of the evidence being ‘sealed’ for 70 years!  An inquest was later held, but finished within fifteen minutes, it being stated that, even though much of it had been withheld from the public, the inquiry had been sufficient. There were many other inconsistencies in the official account, which call into doubt the truth of the final death certificate, which in itself was incorrect, in not stating the place of death amongst other things!

This talk provoked many questions from the members present, and left many feeling that the full facts may never be made public - was it suicide or assassination?

photograph of Dr. Kelly GMC


The vote of thanks was given by Steve Battersby

The next meeting at Richard Newton Hall is Robert Hesketh a local writer and photographer will talk about “The Haunted Inns in Devon”.

If any retired male readers in Teignmouth would like to know more about us, please visit our website:



Teignmouth Probus Club "The Unnatural Death of Dr. Kelly"