A second inquest into the death of a British serviceman involved in nerve agent trials at Porton Down fifty years ago began on 5 May 2004.
A second inquest into the death of a British serviceman involved in nerve agent trials at Porton Down fifty years ago began on 5 May 2004. The Wiltshire constabulary anticipates that the proceedings will last between six to eight weeks.
A verdict of death by misadventure (now termed ’accident’) was originally issued following evidence given at the first inquest in May 1953.
The latest inquest follows in the wake of clinical findings published on 23 April 2004 by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), concluding a two-year medical study of 111 Porton Down veterans.
According to MoD records, the veterans had taken part in a 1950s research programme involving exposure to low concentrations of chemical warfare agents. The findings, published by Professor Harry Lee at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, record no clinical evidence linking ill health with participation in the programme.