New cause of Woolmer's death

Updated: 22 October 2007 17:30 IST

Heart disease was the likely culprit in the death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer during last spring's Cricket World Cup, a British pathologist said.

New cause of Woolmer's death

Jamaica:

Heart disease was the likely culprit in the death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer during last spring's Cricket World Cup, a British pathologist said on Wednesday.

The enlarged condition of Woolmer's heart, the fluid in his lungs and blood on his pillow were all signs of a death from natural causes, Dr. Nathaniel Cary, told a jury on the second day of an inquest convened to determine what killed Woolmer.

Cary examined photos of the coach's body as part of a global investigation sparked by a Jamaican's pathologist's conclusion that Woolmer, 58, had been strangled in Kingston's downtown Pegasus Hotel.

But the British expert said he saw no signs of foul play.

"Forget Bob Woolmer, forget the Pegasus," he said. "If this was a routine autopsy, I would account IHD (ischaemic heart disease) as the cause of death."

Woolmer, a highly regarded coach and former player from South Africa, died March 18, a day after his team was eliminated from the World Cup in an upset loss to Ireland.

Jamaican police announced four days later that Woolmer had been strangled. Authorities closed the homicide case nearly three months later after pathologists in Britain, South Africa and Canada concluded the coach died from natural causes.

Cary, a consultant to Britain's Metropolitan Police and other agencies, is one of about 50 witnesses expected to testify in the inquest to formally determine the cause of death.

The exchanges between Cary and Kent Pantry, director of public prosecutions, were testy at times.

Pantry asked if it were possible Woolmer was strangled with a pillow, a suggestion the pathologist dismissed as "foolish" and impossible.

"I would like you not to regard my questions as foolish," the prosecutor responded. "I have shown you courtesy and I would like you to show me the same."

Testifying Tuesday, the first witness, a hotel maid, described finding Woolmer's body sprawled on a blood-spattered bathroom floor on March 18, with an overturned chair in the room and blood on a pillow on the unmade bed.

The inquest is scheduled to run through Nov. 9 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.




Topics : Cricket Bob Woolmer
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