Suicide Riddle of Weapons Expert Who Worked With David Kelly

0 Comments

  • Body of Dr Richard Holmes discovered in a field four miles from the Porton Down defence establishment
  • Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in latest case but revealed scientist was ‘under a great deal of stress’
  • He resigned from Porton Down last month, but it is unclear why

By NICK CONSTABLE and IAN GALLAGHER

PUBLISHED: 16:58 EST, 21 April 2012 | UPDATED: 17:45 EST, 21 April 2012

A weapons expert who worked with Dr David Kelly at the Government’s secret chemical warfare laboratory has been found dead in an apparent suicide.

In circumstances strongly reminiscent of Dr Kelly’s own mysterious death nine years ago, the body of Dr Richard Holmes was discovered in a field four miles from the Porton Down defence establishment in Wiltshire. It is not yet known how he died.

Mr Holmes, 48, had gone missing two days earlier after telling his wife he was going out for a walk – just as Dr Kelly did before he was found dead at an Oxfordshire beauty spot in July 2003.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in the latest case but revealed that Dr Holmes  had ‘recently been under a great deal of stress’.

He resigned from Porton Down last month, although the centre yesterday refused to explain why.
Inevitably, the parallels between the two cases will arouse the suspicions of conspiracy theorists.

Despite Lord Hutton’s ruling eight years ago that Dr Kelly committed suicide, many people – among them a group of doctors – believe his inquiry was insufficient and have demanded a full inquest.

Some believe Dr Kelly, who kept an office at Porton Down right up until his death, was murdered. He was outed as being the source of a BBC report that Downing Street ‘sexed up’ evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction to justify going to war.

More… British expat Neil Heywood left his family so broke a business associate had to pay for plane tickets for them to attend his funeral

Although it is not clear if the two scientists were close, one source told The Mail on Sunday that they were friendly when they worked at Porton Down in the Nineties.

At the time, Dr Holmes ran a project organising the installation of chemical protection equipment in RAF Sentinel spy planes, while Dr Kelly was head of microbiology and frequently toured the former Soviet Union as a weapons inspector.

After the first Gulf War, Dr Holmes is also thought to have worked on the production of chemical protection suits for troops. In 1991 he was the joint author of a scientific paper about an RAF chemical and biological protection system.

Yesterday, a Porton Down spokesman confirmed Dr Holmes had quit his job but declined to comment further. ‘It is not our policy to speak openly about any individual who works for us,’ she said.

Before finding his body, Wiltshire Police made a public appeal for information but warned people not to approach Dr Holmes for their own safety because they believed he had been ‘looking at information on the internet regarding self-harm and the use of toxic substances’.

Friends of Dr Holmes say this disclosure irritated his family, who questioned why a scientist engaged in chemical warfare research would ‘need to Google toxic substances’.

Dr Holmes’s widow, Susan, is  a chemist who also works at  Porton Down as head of business administration.

One of the Government’s most sensitive and secretive military facilities, the site has long been the focus of controversy.

Three years ago hundreds of ex-servicemen who were used as chemical warfare guinea pigs there between 1939 and 1989 were given compensation and an apology from the Ministry of Defence.

They were tested with the nerve agent sarin, but some of those involved claimed they had been  told they were taking part in cold-remedy trials.

Many suffered serious illnesses after exposure to the gas, which was developed by the Nazis during the Second World War.

An inquest into Dr Holmes’s death was opened and adjourned by Wiltshire Coroner David Ridley last week. Coroner’s officer Paul Tranter said Dr Holmes’s family had grown concerned for his wellbeing after  he failed to return from a walk on April 11.

A search party involving police and members of the other emergency services began combing waste ground close to his home in the Bishopsdown area of Salisbury.

Police discovered his body half a mile away in a field used regularly by dog-walkers and joggers in the village of Laverstock.

Mr Tranter said the results of tests carried out to establish the cause of death would not be known for several weeks.

He added: ‘Police do not consider this death to be suspicious in any way, nor do they believe there was any third-party involvement.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2133201/Dr-Richard-Holmes-Suicide-riddle-weapons-expert-worked-David-Kelly.html#ixzz1t7H0ew6T

 

By


Readers Comments (0)





Powered by sweetCaptcha


"In Life, the mystery we unravel is relative to the questions we are willing to ask. Pursuing reality's enigmas begins with difficult questions, but the answers have never been more accessible. Now is the time to decide if you are ready to surrender all bias, and make friends with the unknown."
-Max Maverick-
Disclaimer & Fair Use
This website may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in efforts to advance the understanding of humanity's challenges and ideally to help uncover valid, achievable solutions for those challenges [self-imposed evolutionary limitations]. This website preserves & archives valuable information that is now more often being censored or wiped from its original source. Thus, we find this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Reading the articles posted on this website represents such a request for information. Consistent with this notice you are welcome to make 'fair use' of anything you find in the archives. However, if you wish to use copyrighted material from this website for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. You can read more about 'fair use' and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.