The British pathologist Nathaniel Cary was one of three witnesses who testified as the inquest into the death of Bob Woolmer began in Jamaica on Tuesday. On March 18, Woolmer was found unconscious in his room at the Pegasus Hotel after Pakistan were embarrassed the day before by Ireland in the World Cup.
In his opening statement at the Jamaican Conference Centre, the Kingston coroner Patrick Murphy said the inquest was to find out "when, how, and by what means Robert 'Bob' Woolmer came to his death". Other witnesses who testified included Imogene Douglas, the waitress who served Woolmer three days prior to his death, and Bernice Robinson, the hotel maid who told the court she noticed a chair was overturned when she entered the room on the morning Woolmer was found.
Robinson said alarm bells went off inside her head when she first entered the room on the morning of March 18 because she noticed a chair was overturned. She told the court she saw blood on a pillow and then caught the smell of alcohol and vomit. It was after this she said she saw a man's leg sticking out of a bathroom door and tried to open it without success so she called for help.
However, it was the testimony of Cary that took the longest and he spent approximately three hours answering questions from Ken Pantry, Jamaica's director of public prosecution. He agreed there could have been a third party in Woolmer's room leading up to the time he was found unconscious, but was quick to point out that the government pathologist, Ere Sheshiah, who conducted the first post-mortem, was in a better position to conclude how Woolmer died.
After Sheshiah's post-mortem, two days after the death of Woolmer, the Jamaican police first reported it was inclusive, and then suspicious, before saying it was murder. As the investigation continued, the Jamaican police turned to Scotland Yard for help. The case took another twist when London's Metropolitan Police reached the conclusion, after studying work of a visiting pathologist from Britain's Home Office, that Woolmer was not murdered, but died of heart failure.
Quizzed by Pantry about the overall conclusion, Cary, who will return to the stand on Wednesday, said he could not conclusively state the cause of death. The inquest is set to determine the cause of Woolmer's death and whether anyone bears any responsibility. More than 50 witnesses, including the chief investigating officer, the deputy superintendent of police Colin Pinnock, will testify.