Government pathologist defends his stand on foul play in Woolmer's death October 30, 2007

Pathologist criticised for not following accepted practices

Cricinfo staff

Ere Sheshiah, the Jamaican government pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination on Bob Woolmer, came under criticism on the tenth day of the inquest in Kingston for not following accepted international practices.

Sheshiah was asked by Jermaine Spence, the attorney representing the International Cricket Council, why should anyone accept his findings that Woolmer died of asphyxia and pesticide poisoning. "I have already told the court of my opinion, so I am not deviating," Sheshiah replied.

Sheshiah was criticised for not adhering to international practices from three overseas pathologists, who reviewed the post-mortem findings. The trio said they believed Woolmer died of natural causes, probably related to heart disease.

Sheshaiah originally said Woolmer's hyoid bone was fractured, which suggested the former England player was strangled.

When shown an X-ray last week, Sheshiah had admitted he made a mistake, but insisted the hyoid bone in a 58-year-old man doesn't have to be broken to prove he was strangled.

"The person who examines the bone can say whether it's broken, not somebody who analyzes a photo," he said.

Sheshiah stuck to what he said regarding the cause of the death last week. "My final opinion is it was asphyxia, associated with cypermethrin [a pesticide] poisoning."

Last week, a Jamaican forensic analyst testified that toxicology results showed conflicting results on the presence of pesticide in Woolmer's blood and urine.

The inquest, presided over by coroner Patrick Murphy and 11 jurors, is expected to end on November 9. Three members of the ICC have sat in on the inquest since it started on October 16.