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Coffin is carried into church


The funeral service for Government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly has taken place in Oxfordshire.

Bells have also tolled at churches around the country in tribute to the scientist.

The service was held at a church overlooking the spot where he apparently committed suicide.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott represented the Government at the service, while Lord Hutton, who is leading the inquiry into the expert's death, was among the first to arrive.

Tom Mangold, a former investigative journalist with the Panorama programme and friend of Dr Kelly, was also among the 160 mourners at St Mary's in the village of Longworth.

Dr Kelly's wife, Janice, 58, eldest daughter Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30, led the mourners.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is on holiday with his family in America amid reports he had been instructed to keep a low profile.

The media was kept out as Dr Kelly's family wanted to preserve the "privacy and dignity" of the occasion.

Dr Kelly: A private funeral

The service featured elements of the Baha'i religion, to which Dr Kelly converted four years ago, together with moments which marked his Welsh roots.

The Welsh hymn Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah was used to open the service.

Other readings included a poem from local poet Wilfred Howe-Nurse and a Baha'i prayer.

The Vicar of St Mary's, the Rev Roy Woodhams, told mourners: "We are here because of the tragedy that has taken place. We are not here for the media or to make a political statement or to apportion blame."

Following the service, Dr Kelly was laid to rest in the churchyard.

Dr Kelly's body was found on July 18. He had slashed his left wrist and taken a number of painkillers.

Lord Hutton has opened an inquiry into the death of Dr Kelly, who was named as the mole for BBC reports that Downing Street "sexed up" its Iraq dossier.Last Updated: 18:08 UK, Wednesday August 06, 2003

©Copyright 2003, Sky News (UK)

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