Foreign substance found in coach

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A foreign chemical substance has been discovered in Bob Woolmer’s blood and tissue samples, the toxicology results have reportedly stated.

According to a well-placed government official, the substance, believed to be poison, was found in samples taken from the coach’s stomach, urine and blood. The Gleaner has also been reliably informed that help has been sought from Scotland Yard in the analysis of the results.

On Saturday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields confirmed the receipt of the toxicology report, but refused to comment on the contents.

“We have some results from toxicology now, but they will require further investigation and analysis, and therefore it would be totally inappropriate for me to elaborate any further on that,” Shields said.

Woolmer, 58, the Pakistan cricket team coach was found unconscious in his Jamaica Pegasus hotel room four weeks ago by a chambermaid. He was pronounced dead at hospital and a subsequent post-mortem conducted by government pathologist, Ere Sheshiah, found that death resulted from asphyxia due to manual strangulation. Prior to that announcement, the police said that they would be relying on histology and toxicology analysis of Mr. Woolmer’s tissue sample to give them an idea of the events leading to the coach’s death.

“The histology is back. I have not seen it, but it is the toxicology that we are still working on … the toxicology is much more important,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green said, yesterday.

Histology results will help the pathologist to arrive at a time of death, which has not yet been established, while the toxicology should justify or rebut speculations that the 6ft 1in-, 250-pound Woolmer was poisoned before being strangled by his unknown attacker or attackers.

Owing to Woolmer’s size, many had suggested that he may have been weakened before being strangled and the toxicology report may have confirmed this theory.

News had surfaced that Woolmer may have ingested a dose of aconite, a poison which causes the body’s organs to shut down and causes death through asphyxiation within 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, some members of the Pakistan team may be asked to make their way back to Jamaica for the coroner’s inquest which begins next Monday. ACP Green said Coroner Patrick Murphy had made it clear that he wanted members of that delegation back for the inquest.

Kent Pantry, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will be marshalling evidence on behalf of the Crown, and Murphy are to meet later this week to decide the list of witnesses for the inquest.

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