Woolmer / News

Twenty two swabs taken from hotel room

DNA samples yield no matches

Cricinfo staff

November 7, 2007

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A Jamaican specialist has testified at the inquest into former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer's death that the genetic samples taken from Woolmer's hotel room matched his DNA and not any of the others questioned in the case, reported the International Herald Tribune.

Investigators took 22 swabs of evidence from the hotel room but none of them matched any of the other samples taken during the murder probe, said Sharon Brydson, an analyst at the forensics science laboratory in Kingston.

Several Pakistan players were fingerprinted and swabbed by the police, although they were never termed suspects, after Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room on March 18 following Pakistan's defeat against Ireland in the World Cup.

The police had initially backed the government pathologist Ere Sheshiah's finding that Woolmer was murdered and released a statement to that effect. However, a review by three other pathologists - Nathaniel Cary, Michael Pollanen and Lorna Martin - said Woolmer died of natural causes, possibly due to a heart attack.

As the investigation continued, toxicology tests could not conclude whether Woolmer was injected with a poison or not. Marcia Dunbar, a Jamaican forensic analyst, testified at the inquest 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 positive for cypermethrin while the others did not and no suitable explanation was given for this. She also said that one of the containers she received from the police containing the samples had been contaminated.

John Slaughter, a British forensic expert, later told the inquest that said he found no pesticide in the sample which was tested in his lab on May 4. He said the presence of cypermethrin could have been due to contamination at the government forensic laboratory in Kingston.

On November 5, the coroner Patrick Murphy had asked for further tests to be carried out on samples taken from Woolmer's body. The directive came on a request from Mark Shields, the Jamaica deputy commissioner of police, following discrepancies in the toxicology reports by forensic scientists from the Caribbean and the UK. Shields said more samples would be retrieved from the UK and the local forensic laboratory.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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