Analyst: Woolmer toxicology tests inconclusive

Toxicology tests on Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer showed conflicting results as to whether he had ingested poison, a Jamaican forensic analyst told the inquest into Woolmer’s death on Friday.

Marcia Dunbar testified that evidence of the pesticide cypermethrin was found in blood and urine samples.

Of three samples of blood taken from Woolmer, Dunbar said one tested for cypermethrin while the others did not.

Questioned by Jermaine Spence, an attorney representing the interest of the International Cricket Council (ICC), if this was unique, Dunbar replied: ”I am not sure.”

Woolmer died on March 18 after he was found unconscious in his Jamaica hotel room a day after his Pakistan team was humiliated by Ireland in the Cricket World Cup.

When police said they were treating the former England player’s death as murder, it sparked speculation that the case could be linked to corruption in international cricket.

However, in June Jamaican authorities said they were no longer treating the death as homicide.

Dunbar, who is a 26-year veteran at Jamaica’s government forensic science laboratory, said there were traces of the tranquiliser chlorpromazine in samples from Woolmer’s stomach and that he had some alcohol in his system.

She said that an analysis of bile samples did not reveal the presence of dangerous drugs and toxins.

She said urine samples allegedly taken from Woolmer’s body revealed the presence of cypermethrin.

The results from the examinations and analysis of a host of other exhibits, including items such as the sink basin pipe in Woolmer’s room and beverages found there, showed no sign of cypermethrin.

Controversial pathologist Ere Sheshiah, who performed the autopsy on Woolmer and originally concluded that Woolmer died from asphyxia caused by manual strangulation, has testified this week that he now believes Woolmer died of asphyxia caused by manual strangulation associated with cypermethrin poisoning.

Three overseas pathologists brought in to review the case have testified they believe Woolmer died of natural causes, probably related to heart disease. The trio have criticised Sheshia’s techniques.

The inquest, presided over by coroner Patrick Murphy and 11 jurors, is expected to end on November 9. Testimony continues on Monday. — Sapa-AFP

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