20 SEPTEMBER 2003, Page 38

Dr Kelly's motives

From John Kinsman Sir: Peter Jones's column on the justifications for suicide (Ancient & modern, 13 September) implies that Dr David Kelly's suicide may have been a result of despair.

It had been suggested that Dr Kelly had been threatened with dismissal and the loss of his pension rights because of his actions. I do not know if this has been brought up at the Hutton inquiry, but I have not seen any reference to it. Is it not possible that his suicide was done to forestall any such punishment and so ensure that his wife's financial future was safeguarded? If so, Peter Jones's hypothetical ancient Greek jury would surely have applauded it as a noble act.

John Kinsman