Woolmer / News

Lorna Martin rules out death by strangulation

Pathologist points to flaws in Woolmer autopsy

Cricinfo staff

October 24, 2007

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South African pathologist Lorna Martin has told the inquest that former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer had died of natural causes by pointing to flaws in the original autopsy conducted by Jamaican government pathologist Ere Sheshiah. Martin is the third pathologist after Nathaniel Cary and Michael Pollanen to conclude that Woolmer did not die of manual strangulation.

Martin, who signed the cremation certificate after Woolmer's body arrived in South Africa, said she had reached the conclusion after viewing a video of Sheshiah's autopsy.

"It doesn't appear that the international practice was followed in the examination of the neck," Martin testified on Tuesday. "I am of the opinion that he died of natural causes."

Pollanen, the Canadian pathologist, had told the inquest on Monday he was aware that a toxin had been detected in Woolmer's body, though he wasn't certain about the details. When asked to justify her findings, Martin said there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Woolmer was weakened with the toxin before being allegedly strangled.

"My disagreement with the cause of death (of strangulation) doesn't come from whether the person was weakened or not, but comes from the injury or lack of injuries," she said.

The inquest is expected to end on November 9.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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