Paul McBride death: QC died from natural causes in his sleep, finds post-mortem
ADVOCATE Paul McBride died of natural causes, in his sleep, a post-mortem examination in Lahore, Pakistan, has confirmed.
He will now be moved to Islamabad, where he will receive the Last Rites, before being flown home tomorrow or Friday.
His friend and fellow lawyer Aamer Anwar said that he had to fight to prevent photographers taking pictures of the body as they arrived at hospital yesterday.
Mr Anwar, a human rights lawyer, has criticised the lack of support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Alex Salmond appealed directly to William Hague, asking for more to be done, but Mr Anwar said this has been met with “a point-blank refusal to send anyone to Lahore to help me out”.
He said the consular official in Islamabad had told him they did not have the capacity to send someone out to Lahore.
Mr Anwar said last night: “That’s his body thankfully released and we will now take him to Islamabad. Thursday or Friday we will fly back to Glasgow.
“Today was horrendous. Every day just seems to have got worse.
“I had to fight with police to get rid of the media. I had to physically push to get away from people who were trying to photograph Paul’s body.
“It was unacceptable.”
Mr Anwar said post-mortem results showed there were no suspicious circumstances and no sign of injury, and that Mr McBride died in his sleep.
He revealed he has been inundated by requests about Mr McBride, not only from the UK, but also from people in Pakistan.
“Everyone has been asking me, ‘How is Mr Paul?’” he said.
“Within two days he got to know all the doormen, and the receptionists, everyone on first name terms. He knew everyone, from the bottom right through to the top.”
His death has stunned not just the legal community – in which he was a leading light, having become the UK’s youngest QC at just 35 – but also the worlds of politics, football and the media, where he was an influential figure.
Derek Ogg, QC, a close friend of Mr McBride, said: “I think everyone is a bit flat.
“Paul would burst into your life without warning and then for days no-one would see him.
“He would then be off doing something else. He was always in perpetual motion. So I think there’s a sense of disbelief in the faculty and the profession.”
There have been reports of alcohol and sedatives found in Mr McBride’s room. But Mr Ogg dismissed suggestions they could have played a part in his death.
“He had no underlying health concerns,” he said. “I’ve known him for 23 years and he had no underlying health issues, nothing like that. He was in excellent health.
“He was not a heavy drinker. He did not smoke and he did not take drugs..
“He worked very long days. Ever since I have known Paul he has been naturally wired. The fact that he could sit through a trial was a triumph of concentration over his own nature.”
Mr McBride leaves behind his parents, who holidayed with him in Abu Dhabi before he flew to Pakistan, and his partner, Gary Murphy.
Mr Ogg said: “I’ve spoken to his partner. He is totally devastated, but he is surrounded by close friends and a supportive family.”
The Foreign Office insisted it was doing all it could. A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm the death of a British National [Paul McBride] in Lahore on 4 March. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. We are providing consular assistance to his family and their appointed liaison.
“The Foreign Secretary has spoken to Alex Salmond about the death of Mr McBride and has reassured the First Minister that we have done and will continue to do everything possible to assist in this case.”
A spokesman for Alex Salmond said: “The First Minister spoke with the Foreign Secretary this morning.
“While it was disappointing that the High Commission were unable to send someone to Lahore to assist, Mr Hague did offer help with a number of matters once Mr McBride’s body arrives in Islamabad, which is welcome.”