28 October, 2010 — J7: 7/7 Inquests Blog
Examining and documenting the proceedings of the Coroner’s Inquest into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005, including analysis of the hearing transcripts and the evidence presented.
In J7’s submission to the 7/7 Inquests, amongst the many questions we posed in relation to the events at Aldgate, we asked:
What train was Mr Mallinson on? Was an announcement made at Aldgate that there had been a bomb on a train?
In the morning session of 25 October
Mr Keith questioned a Miss Melanie Jane O’Dell:
“MISS MELANIE JANE O’DELL (sworn)
Questions by MR KEITH
MR KEITH: Good morning.
A. Good morning.
Q. Could you give the court your full name, please?
A. Melanie Jane O’Dell.
Q. May I ask, is it Miss O’Dell or Mrs O’Dell?
“Q. Did you take Mr Henning with you, in fact, towards the rear of the train as well?
A. Yes, he wanted me to hold his hand and he wanted me to stay — he asked me to stay with him.
Q. And so obviously, because he was injured, you did so?
A. Mm, I was concerned there was another passenger called — whose name was Ross, and I was worried about him, because he wasn’t particularly coherent and he was quite quiet, and he was — he had quite a bad — what looked to me like a bad head cut.
Q. Presumably, he left the carriage along with the rest of you, did he, or did he stay —
A. Somebody else helped him.
Q. Could you see him being brought out?
A. I didn’t see him because he was behind us, but then I saw him — when I got to Aldgate eventually, I went over to Aldgate bus station and got on a double decker bus, I saw him being helped onto — into an ambulance.
Q. So you knew he had been removed from the train?
According to O’Dell’s account, Ross Malinson was aboard train 204 along with Michael Henning.
However, Mr Mallinson was one of the people on the list of survivors designated as Properly Interested Persons (PIPs) in the initial hearings to the Inquests, and also one that had received legal aid to be represented. Justice Hallett was later to make her ruling that PIP status for survivors was to be withdrawn and they were not to be represented at the Inquests proper, although they could be called as witnesses during proceedings.
Mr Mallinson is described in the footnotes to those initial hearing transcripts as follows:
80 The following applicants were not in the same carriage as the explosions: Michael Henning, Elizabeth Kenworthy, John Blundell, Joanne Cole, Jacqueline Putnam, Ellaine Young, Angela Ioannou, Susan Maxwell, Lesley Ratcliff, George Roskilly. Further Tim Coulson and Ross Mallinson were not travelling on the same train as the explosion, although Mr. Coulson entered the affected carriage and provided first aid.
O’Dell places Mallinson on Ciricle Line train 204, yet the Inquests’ own documentation states quite clearly that Mr Mallinson wasn’t on that train at all.
J7 would suggest that the reference to ‘her’ in the following Inquests transcript is an error as Mr O’Connor was not representing a female client travelling in another train. The only PIP who suffered the injuries described was Ross Mallinson and Mr O’Connor was his legal counsel:
[Mr O’Connor] carriage, and thus drawing a boundary about whether you’re in the same carriage or not would be arbitrary and irrational, and indeed, even not in the same train, one of our clients, madam, you will have seen suffered a very serious fractured skull requiring two operations and was actually in a train passing opposite the explosion. Such is the random impact, that it went through windows and injured her desperately seriously.
In an interview with The Age
published in July 2005, it was claimed that Mr Mallinson was travelling on a train in front of Circle Line train 204, travelling between Aldgate station and Tower Hill:
Mr Mallinson was on his way to work as a computer programmer for an insurance company at Tower Hill when Shehzad Tanweer, 22, detonated the bomb on a train between Liverpool and Aldgate stations on the Circle Line. Minutes later, Mr Mallinson’s train, also on the Circle Line, began moving again, slowly passing Aldgate station, where an announcer warned passengers that there had been a bomb on a train, probably the one directly behind Mr Mallinson’s. His train continued to Tower Hill station, where two police officers carried him to the surface. He gave his mobile phone to a woman next to him and asked her to call his wife, Judy.
This would have huge implications if indeed this account is true. Firstly, the announcement at Aldgate of a ‘bomb’ whilst all the accounts heard at the Inquests this week have referred only to an ‘electrical explosion’ or ‘power surge’ in the first moments after this event and secondly, that the power was indeed on or had been reset after the explosion on train 204. The tracks would have to have been live after the explosion.
Not a word has been heard at the 7/7 Inquests of any other train ‘moving’ at Aldgate or in the vicinity of Circle Line train 204, apart from a Metropolitan Line train 447 which was going in the opposite direction and had only just begun to leave the station from platform 2 before it stopped suddenly. There has certainly been no mention of the explosion impacting ‘through the window of a passing train’ onto Mr Mallinson as referenced by his legal counsel, Mr O’Connor.
The driver of Metropolitan Line train 447 was not called to court to give evidence, instead the first of two statements that he made was read by Hugo Keith QC:
[Statement of MR MARK WILLIAMS] read “I then got on to train 447, which again is a Metropolitan Line train which was running on time. As I pulled away, I heard an extremely loud bang. At this point, I was about half a car length out of the station. I immediately stopped and, at the same time, the Underground electrical traction current turned off and the lights in the tunnel turned on. I did not open my doors as I was unsure of exactly what had happened. I then heard shouting from the station staff on the platform and the doors were being opened by two other train operators, Eldridge and Paul Haskins who were manually opening the doors. I could see this train was facing me in the tunnel, as it had just turned the corner. This was a C stock style train. I then went back through one car and got out of the train and joined the two other train operators, Eldridge and Paul Haskins.
Metropolitan Line train 447 appears to have been evacuated within 3 to 4 minutes and well before the evacuation of Circle Line train 204.
At yesterday’s hearing, Mr Mallinson was mentioned, not by a witness present to give evidence and answer questions but in a statement read to the court by Hugo Keith QC, from ‘rookie’ BTP officer, Robert Whyte:
[Statement of Mr Robert Whyte, dated 8/07/05, read] “Myself and PC Hatcher, along with the cycle officer, attempted to break open the door of the next carriage along from the badly damaged carriage. We were not successful in doing this. We then attempted to locate some sort of metal object that could help us in our effort to open the train doors. We could not find anything that could help us. “I then helped a male, who had a very severe head injury, who was holding a piece of bloodstained cloth tightly on the side of his head. The male, who I now know to be Ross Charles Mallison. He was shaking and kept telling me he was very faint. I took the male’s small suitcase in one hand and told the male to put his arm around my shoulder for support. I told the male it would be a short walk to the platform where we could get him some medical attention. I kept trying to reassure the male along the entire walk of the track. I walked the male to the exit of the station where I was joined by a firefighter. This firefighter took the male by the other arm for more support. I was informed by this firefighter that they were using double decker buses across the road as the places to sit down injured people. Myself and the firefighter walked the male over to the buses. We sat him down on the first bus. The firefighter then asked if I was okay. I said I was. The fireman then left. I asked the male to sit back down and try to relax and try to take deep breaths. A male sitting behind me then handed me a piece of clean cloth. I replaced the man’s cloth he had on his head with this piece of fresh cloth. A paramedic then came over and spoke to the male. He asked how he was feeling. I then asked the male if he was okay and he said ‘yes’ so I left the male in the hands of the paramedic on the bus.
“At this point, I decided to head back down into the station and try to help anybody else that needed help. Once again, I went into the station, headed downstairs to the left and on to the track. I came across a male and female that needed some help. I believe that they were boyfriend and girlfriend.
How curious that Mr Whyte was able to include the full name of Ross Mallinson apparently on 08/07/05 whereas he doesn’t name the ‘male and female’ to whom he also gave assistance.
Neither is there any mention of the place from which Mr Mallinson was rescued and aided. Nor any mention of him being rescued from a different train to Circle Line train 204. In fact, O’Dell’s account places him on the very train that the Inquests’ documentation claims he wasn’t. It may be worth noting at this stage that Miss O’Dell gave a statement in July 2005 and was asked by Lady Justice Hallett to prepare another statement, over five years later, in August 2010.
The fact remains that the evidence adduced to the Inquest from Mr Whyte & Ms O’Dell differs greatly from the original account of Mr Mallinson’s that he gave to The Age in July 2005 and that Mr O’Connor QC submitted to the Inquest.
Mr O’Connor QC had no option to question or challenge these statements on Mr Mallinson’s behalf, since survivors such as Mr Mallinson are no longer legally represented at the Inquests.