British forensic experts doubt Bob~~s murder

Published: Sunday, April 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

London:With the roping in of Scotland Yard feulling speculation that Bob Woolmer's death could not have been a murder but a tragic accident, Britain's leading forensic pathologists have expressed doubts on the evidence suggesting he was strangled.

Calling for a second autopsy to re-examine Woolmer's death, forensic experts, who studied police announcements and a photograph that shows the Pakistan coach's head and neck after he died, told Sunday Times that they were surprised that there was no obvious bruising on Woolmer's neck which would indicate he had been strangled.

They said ''publicly available facts indicated a highly unusual murder of a type that none of them had ever witnessed.'' Dr Ere Seshaiah, an Indian-origin Jamaican pathologist, initially said the cause of Woolmer's death was ''inconclusive'' but later concluded after reviewing his autopsy that the Pakistan coach was ''manually strangled''.

While accepting Jamaican police assertion that they have other undisclosed factors which point to murder, the experts believed it would be good practice to seek a second and even third opinion.

Their comments came even as a four-man team of Scotland Yard detectives was this weekend preparing to travel to the West Indies to review the investigation and see if clues had been missed.

''From what I have seen and read it is virtually impossible that this is strangulation,'' Bill Hunt, a former president of the British Association in Forensic Medicine, said.

''It is almost impossible to strangle a fit man without a fight and the police say there is no evidence of a struggle.

It is virtually impossible to strangle somebody without leaving some marks on the neck,'' he added.

Hunt also dismissed the theory that woolmer could have been strangulated by a twisted towel, reported by a section of British media.

''I think it unlikely the there was a ligature used, as the victim would try to pull the ligature off and there would have been marks on his neck from that. If he was strangled through a cloth material, you would expect to find the pattern of the cloth on his skin,'' Hunt, who chaired a Home Office committee monitoring standards among pathologists and who have written a number of papers on the subject, said.

Meanwhile, a section of British media reported that Woolmer could have fallen in his bathroom after consuming whisky following Pakistan's shock early exit from the World Cup and that could have broken his neck bone rather than by strangulation.

The revelation has fuelled mounting speculation that Woolmer's death was not murder but a tragic accident.

Based on witness version, Daily Mail ran a story on how the 58-year-old former England batsman sat alone in the bar of the Hotel Pegasus in Kingston after Pakistan crashed out of the World Cup and 'drowned his sorrows' with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

At the hotel, he is said to have begun drinking almost immediately -- forsaking his normal solitary glass of wine for the export-strength whisky.

Unnamed Pakistan Cricket Board officials have also questioned Jamaica police claim that Woolmer was murdered on the ground that there were no visible signs of strangulation and because pathologist Ere Sheshaiah's initial examination was ''inconclusive''.


Write Comments