'Woolmer died of natural causes'

Updated: 25 October 2007 06:48 IST

A second pathologist testified on Monday that Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer apparently died from natural causes following his team's loss in the World Cup.

'Woolmer died of natural causes'

Kingston, Jamaica:

A second pathologist testified on Monday that Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer apparently died from natural causes following his team's upset loss in the Cricket World Cup.

The testimony, in the second week of an inquest into the high-profile death, contradicts a Jamaican autopsy that concluded Woolmer had been strangled.

Dr Michael Pollanen, director of forensic pathology with the coroner's office in Ontario, Canada, testified he saw no signs of violence in X-rays and photos of Woolmer, who was found dead in a downtown Kingston hotel room.

"I have found no cause for lethal injury in this case," said Pollanen, one of at least three pathologists whose findings contradicted a report by Jamaican government pathologist Dr Ere Sheshiah.

The Canadian said Sheshiah incorrectly reported the hyoid bone in Woolmer's neck was broken, often a sign of manual strangulation.

Pollanen testified at an inquest to determine the official cause of the death of the highly regarded coach and former cricket player from South Africa.

Prompted by questioning from prosecutor Kent Pantry, Pollanen said he was not influenced by a British pathologist's finding that the 58-year-old Woolmer likely died from heart disease.

"If you look at my report you will see that I have used my own observations," said Pollanen, who agreed that Woolmer's heart showed signs of disease.

Woolmer's body was found March 18 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in downtown Kingston. Four days later, Jamaican police announced Woolmer had been strangled - setting off a worldwide homicide investigation.

In June, authorities ended the probe after pathologists in Britain, South Africa and Canada submitted reports concluding the coach died from natural causes.

The inquest to determine the cause of death is expected to end November 9 after about 50 witnesses appear before the 11-member jury. Testimony resumes on Tuesday.

Topics : Cricket Bob Woolmer
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