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Snake venom may have killed Woolmer: reports

David Warrell, Professor at Oxford University, says that the vomit and faeces found near body were consistent with someone with venom in their bloodstream.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, London
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2007 04:01 AM IST

Snake venom may have been used to poison Bob woolmer, a British Daily reported on Sunday in the latest theory regarding the murder of the Pakistan coach in a Jamaican hotel more than a month ago.

The mass circulation tabloid 'Daily Mail' said that BBC World Service Cricket Commentator Neil Manthorpe had spoken to Woolmer's widow Gill and his sons Russell and Dale in Cape town two days ago after they had been updated by Jamaican detectives about the murder investigation.

Manthorpe was quoted as saying by the newspaper "I spoke to Gill and her sons Russell and Dale two days ago. The boys both said police had told their mum the toxicology results are inconclusive.

"The detective told Gill they believe it must have been a natural poison, such as a snake venom, which leaves the body fairly soon afterwards. The police theory is that this was administered to Bob in the bathroom of his hotel room to subdue him before he was strangled," he said.

"The officer said that the only way to prove this was to look for tissue damage, which was why they had sent the results back to England for further testing," he added.

The daily said police had ruled out that Woolmer was bitten by a snake, as there are no venomous snakes in that part of the Caribbean. Instead the suspicion is he was injected with venom, they said.

David Warrell, Professor of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Oxford University, said the vomit and faeces found near Woolmer's body were consistent with someone with venom in their bloodstream.

"Snake venom cannot be slipped to someone in a drink or food. It also cannot be injected into any part of the body.
"It has to go directly into a vein, meaning this man would have had to have been held down for the 20 minutes or so it would have taken for paralysis to set in," he said.

Meanwhile, Gill was losing patience with non-stop speculation regarding the mysterious death of her husband.

Reacting to the reports that Woolmer was poisoned while Jamaican Police told her that toxicology reports were inconclusive she said "Mark Shields (the detective in charge of the investigation) speaks to me most days and says I can have access to him 24/7, but I feel I don't know what's really going on. I'm fed up with all the speculation."

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