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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Kelly's widow tells of 'nightmare'
Janice Kelly arrives at the inquiry on Monday
Mrs Kelly: He looked so desperate
Dr David Kelly's widow has told the Hutton inquiry of his decline into despair as pressure mounted on him as the suspected source for the BBC's Iraq dossier story.

She said he felt "let down and betrayed" by the Ministry of Defence as he realised he would be named - and told how he went "ballistic" after being told an appearance before MPs would be televised.

Janice Kelly, 58, contradicting earlier witnesses, told the Hutton inquiry Dr Kelly had not known about the government press statement on 8 July saying that an unnamed official admitted speaking to BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan.

He looked so desperate... I just thought he had a broken heart
Janice Kelly on the day her husband went missing

Speaking via an audio link from a neighbouring room at the Royal Courts of Justice, she said Dr Kelly had told her the press would swiftly "put two and two together" after the statement was released and identify him.

The scientist was found dead on 18 July, eight days after he was identified publicly as the possible source for Mr Gilligan's report claiming the government "sexed up" the intelligence case against Iraq in its September dossier.

In other developments:

  • Dr Kelly's daughter Rachel said her father told her he could not understand how Andrew Gilligan could make such forcible claims about the conversation they had had

  • She said there was distress and "perhaps a bit of humiliation" in her father's look when she saw him the weekend before his death

  • His sister Sarah Pape said he was "utterly convinced" the Iraq crisis would not be solved without a regime change and that was unlikely to happen peacefully

  • Mrs Kelly said her husband earlier in the year was frustrated because his job had fallen into a "hole" but she was never "quite aware" for whom he worked

  • Dr Kelly was upset by an article by Sunday Times journalist Nick Rufford, which had made him look like he had spoken to the press when he had expressly promised he would not

  • Close friend Professor Roger Avery said Dr Kelly was worried "about making ends meet after retirement".
Mrs Kelly said her husband told her he had been assured his admission to his bosses on 30 June about speaking to Mr Gilligan would not become public.

Set up after apparent suicide of Dr David Kelly in July
Dr Kelly was government expert in Iraq weapons programmes
He was named as source of controversial BBC report
Report alleged government had 'sexed up' a dossier on Iraq's weapons capability
Government denies the allegations

But on the evening of 9 July the MoD rang to give them a five-minute warning to leave their home because the press were on the way, the inquiry heard.

Mrs Kelly said he told her several times he felt "totally let down and betrayed". She described the experience as "just a nightmare".

Later, after they had escaped the press by heading to Cornwall, he had gone "ballistic" when he found out his session in front of MPs on the Commons foreign affairs committee would be shown on live television.

Mrs Kelly also told of the moment she learnt on the evening of 8 July her husband was the official who had met Mr Gilligan.

Monday: Dr Kelly's widow Janice, members of his family and friends
Tuesday: Police officers involved in search for Dr Kelly; a member of the Baha'i faith, of which Dr Kelly was a member; psychiatrist
Wednesday: Michael Page, assistant chief constable of Thames Valley; Dr Nicholas Hunt, who carried out the post-mortem examination; Defence Intelligence Staff officials

"He seemed a bit reluctant to come and watch the news," said Mrs Kelly of that evening.

"The main story was that a source had identified itself. Immediately David said to me 'it's me'... My reaction was total dismay. My heart sank."

Mrs Kelly, speaking publicly about her husband's death for the first time, said her husband had been "tired, subdued, but not depressed" on 17 July - the day he went missing.

He had got on with work compiling the list of his media contacts demanded by MPs, but later that morning, she was physically sick "because he looked so desperate".

"I just thought he had a broken heart. He had shrunk into himself but I had no idea of what he might do later."

Why are we still debating whether or not the UK government sexed up the report?
Maria Szonert, USA

At this stage, Dr Kelly could not talk at all, she said, and at 1500 BST went for the walk which ended with his death.

The knife found beside Dr Kelly's body had been one the family recognised as his from his childhood - probably from the Boy Scouts, she said.

Mrs Kelly said she had later been "devastated" when Number 10 spokesman Tom Kelly suggested her husband was a "Walter Mitty" character when he was "totally the opposite".

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"They spoke about the pressures which had overwhelmed a beloved husband and father"

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