Woolmer jury unable to decide on cause of his death

AN INQUEST into the death of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer ended in indecision last night, with a Jamaican jury unable to determine the cause of death.

The 11-member panel deliberated for about four hours before returning an "open" verdict, which means they decided they had not heard sufficient evidence to declare Woolmer's death an accident, a homicide or the result of natural causes.

The jury foreman said the panel felt there were too many contradictions to reach a clear conclusion.

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The inquest had heard testimony from more than 50 witnesses and medical experts over five weeks.

"We came to an open verdict because the evidence presented to us was very weak. There were too many what-ifs and too many loopholes," he said.

The jury was expected to decide whether anyone was responsible for the death.

According to police it will now be up to Jamaica's coroner, Patrick Murphy, to decide the cause of death. He refused to comment after closing the inquest.

Police authorities and attorney Jermaine Spence, who represented the International Cricket Council at the inquest, also did not speak to reporters.

The inquest in the Jamaican capital was triggered by wide-ranging speculation about what killed the 58-year-old coach, who was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room a day after his team was ousted from the Cricket World Cup on 17 March.

Jamaican police called off their murder investigation three months later, saying that three independent pathologists, from Britain, South Africa and Canada, concluded that the coach died from natural causes, most likely heart disease.