Bahai News -- News of the World - He took painkillers, slashed his wrist, then lay down to die NEWS HEADLINES

DEVASTATED: David Kelly's wife Janice, with one of her daughters

Statement from
the family

"We are utterly devastated and heartbroken by the death of our husband, father and brother. We loved him very much and will miss his warmth, humour and humanity.

A loving, private and dignified man has been taken from us all. Events over recent weeks had made David's life intolerable and all of those involved should reflect long and hard upon this fact."


ISOLATED: Tony Blair in Japan
DR DAVID KELLY: 'Many dark actors are playing games with my life'
SHOCKED: Spin chief Campbell

CLAIMS: BBC man Andrew Gilligan

EXCLUSIVE: Devastated family mourn the loss of tragic boffin as the Tony Blair crisis deepens

He took painkillers, slashed his wrist, then lay down to die

By Keith Gladdis

IRAQ dossier "mole" Dr David Kelly bled to death after slashing his left wrist, police revealed yesterday.

A knife and a packet of painkillers lay alongside the body of the 59-year-old biological weapons expert, whose lonely death in a wood near his home is rocking the government and the BBC.

Police said they believed no one else was involved in the tragedy— but 150 officers were working on the investigation last night.

Last night Dr Kelly's "warmth, humanity, professionalism and dedication to finding the truth" were praised by his widow, Janice, and three daughters.

But they also bitterly hit out at the massive pressure piled on the scientist after he was exposed as the Ministry of Defence insider who had a secret meeting with BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan.

Dr Kelly has denied he told Gilligan that No 10 spin chief Alastair Campbell had "sexed up" a dossier on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction—against the wishes of intelligence chiefs.

Isolated> The Kelly family statement added pointedly: "Events over recent weeks had made David's life intolerable and all of those involved should reflect long and hard upon this fact."

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Tony Blair looked close to collapse as he battled to counter allegations that his ministers and spin masters used Dr kelly as "a fall guy".

Only a day after his rapturous reception in Washington, Mr Blair looked to be an isolated and exhausted figure, his voice cracking as he expressed "deep sorrow for the tragedy."

He faced a barrage of questions about Dr Kelly as he attempted to hold a joint press conference with Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi.

Mr Blair stared straight ahead and refused to answer when he was asked: "Have you got blood on your hands, Prime Minister? Are you going to resign over this?"

The PM has announced a judicial inquiry into events surrounding the death, and he is refusing to discuss it until the inquiry is complete.

But Dr Kelly's friends say he was "hung out to dry" in the battle between the government and BBC over the dossier's claim that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction could have been ready in 45 minutes.


On Tuesday Dr Kelly was subjected to a gruelling session by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay scathingly referred to him as "chaff".

In another twist last night, it was revealed that a few hours before his death Dr Kelly sent a chilling e-mail to a friend in America warning of "many dark actors playing games" with his life.

In the message to Judith Miller— his co-author in a book on biological warfare—Dr Kelly gives no indication of being depressed.

But he tells of a series of rows with officials in the Ministry of Defence and the Intelligence Services.

In an e-mail message to another friend he expresses his determination to clear up the controversy.

The scientist also talks about his wish to return to Iraq to finish his work as a UN weapons inspector. However just hours later he walked to Harrowdown Hill a few miles from his home in Southmoor, near Faringdon, Oxfordshire, and gulped down a packet of Co-proxamol painkillers.

Police believe that as the powerful prescription drug made him drowsy Dr Kelly used a pocket knife to make a vertical cut down his arm, opening a vein. He was found the following morning.

Friends of Alastair Campbell said he felt "physically sick" when he heard of the death. But Campbell insists he will not resign as No 10's Director of Communications.

And he believes that the inquiry will clear him of unmasking Dr Kelly in a bid to save his own reputation. The body was formally identified yesterday by his widow Janice, a geography teacher, at a mortuary near their home. She spent an hour in the stark white building before emerging with her head bowed.

Meanwhile police and Ministry of Defence experts began fingertip forsenic searches of Dr Kelly's death spot, his home, and the route of his last walk.

Officers escorted Mrs Kelly from her home to an unknown destination. She was thought to be with daughters Sian, 32, and 30-year-old twins Rachel and Ellen. Mrs Kelly was "absolutely devastated" by her husband's death, Dr Kelly's brother-in-law said last night.

Derek Vawdrey, 46, said Dr Kelly had been "driven into a corner" and was under "immense pressure."

Shaking with emotion, he added: "Goodness knows what Alastair Campbell is thinking at the moment. Who is going to pay for this? Somewhere along the line someone needs to.

"If Janice isn't angry now, then she certainly will be."

One of Dr Kelly's neighbours told how she met him as he walked to his death through the Oxfordshire countyryside.

Pensioner Ruth Absalom said: "He seemed quite normal. He wasn't edgy or anything like that." And she added: "There is no way he would have killed himself. He was perfectly normal, just a nice polite bloke. He liked his work and loved his family."

Another neighbour, Mary Darcy, 68, said: "I think it's despicable what's happened. He was a quiet, lovely man and was just backed into a corner.

"I blame the government and the BBC for what's happened."

Local Bernard Hunt, 72, said: "Many episodes have shown Mr Blair is not to be trusted. He wants too much control and now it's about to hit him in the face."

And villager Catherine Gamble said: "I cannot believe how much Dr Kelly had aged recently. The government have hounded him into this. He wasn't used to this sort of pressure." Other friends told how Dr Kelly was a member of the little known pacifist Baha'i faith—based on Islamic teachings. Followers believe suicide is acceptable.

Roger Kingdon, 41, secretary to the Abingdon Baha'i, said: "Dr Kelly was a deeply spiritual man. He took his faith very seriously."

Defence Minister Geoff Hoon last night admitted that the government had not done enough to help Dr Kelly.

"A great deal of effort was made inside the Ministry of Defence to support Dr Kelly," he said. "Sadly, that has not proved sufficient."

Mr Blair's official spokesman, Godric Smith, revealed Campbell's future was "not up for discussion."

And the PM quickly dropped plans to take a naked spa with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi last night.

©Copyright 2003, News of the World (UK)

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