THE widow of a Porton Down scientist found dead in a field in Laverstock has rubbished claims of a connection between her husband’s death and that of weapons expert David Kelly, who killed himself in 2003.

Sue Holmes’ husband Richard, 48, went missing from his home in Monxton Close, Bishopdown Farm, on Wednesday, April 11 and his body was discovered two days later.

Reports in national newspapers last week linked his apparent suicide to that of Mr Kelly, who was found dead in Oxfordshire following controversy over a discussion on weapons of mass destruction with a BBC journalist.

Mrs Holmes, who also works at Porton Down, said: “There is absolutely no connection to what happened. It’s just very sad that he equally felt he had to take his own life in the way that Richard did.

“They were both very dedicated people and it becomes very hard for people like that when they love doing things they no longer do.”

Mrs Holmes, who has a 14-year-old daughter Laura, spoke of her husband’s “dedication to his work and great love for his family”.

She said he had been suffering from stress and had resigned from his job as a senior principle scientist a few weeks before his death, after working for the MoD throughout his career.

Mr Holmes was born and raised in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire and graduated from the University of London with a first class honours degree in chemistry.

Mrs Holmes said: “He was dedicated to his work and loved both Laura and me. He was so proud of doing the work he did, it meant everything to him.

“The overriding thing was his dedication and commitment to making sure the people using the equipment he was involved in developing got the best.

“He was incredibly respected and at work they valued the fact he came back to say thank you.”

Mr Holmes’ funeral will take place at Salisbury Crematorium on May 2 at 1pm.