Part-Transcript of Coroner Court Proceedings

Mr Frank Smith, deceased

Fri, 27/08/09, from 0915h onwards


(Coroner Speaking) “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury. You are to put aside any impression you may have gained from the media speculation this week about the death of Mr Frank Smith. Your conclusion is to be determined by the facts as presented to this court and that alone…”

(Routine victim identification is made and post-mortem results given)

(Mr King, QC to Pathologist) “May I just confirm that no noxious substances, either legal or illegal, were detected by your team in the blood of my client’s son?”

(Pathologist to Mr King) “That is correct sir!”

(Mr King to Pathologist) “But that does not mean that Frank Smith had not been exposed to any such agents more than a week before his demise?”

(Pathologist to Mr King) “With a few rare and notable exceptions, the vast majority of any such chemicals would have been cleared from the blood by 7 days. Residues may be stored for longer in certain body organs such as the liver and brain.”

(Mr King to Pathologist) “And have you tested these organs for such deposits?”

(Pathologist to Mr King) “No as we did not know what to look for. Specific agents need individual tests, there is no one generic test that does for all possible substances”

(Following another jury adjournment for legal arguments, the Coroner calls Sgt. Lisa Long, to the witness box)

(Mr King to Sgt. Long) “My question to you is very simple. You saw the original post-mortem report on another person who attended The Complex, Damien Donald who, tragically, collapsed and died there on 10 June this year. Did that report mention any unusual substances in the blood of Damien?”

(Sgt. Long to Mr King) “Yes, sir, it did. I cannot be accurate as to exactly what the chemical was as that report was subsequently withdrawn and replaced. But to the best of my recall it was a very high level of a cannabis or cocaine based compound.”

(Following another jury adjournment for legal arguments, the Coroner calls Watch Officer 2426 Paul Noble to the witness box).

(Coroner to Mr Noble) “Have you been given special coaching as to how to answer questions put to you in this court?”

(Mr Noble) “Yes, Sir, that is correct.”

(Coroner) “Are you willing to perjure yourself?”

(Prolonged Silence)

(Mr Noble) “No, Sir, I am not!”

(Coroner) “What specifically have you been told to deny?”

(Prolonged Silence)

(Mr Noble) “That attendees were given a doctored drink to see the effect…

(General noise and clamour in court.)

(Coroner, loudly) Clearly facts potentially of the greatest relevance are not being disclosed. I adjourn this hearing until a date to be confirmed for further evidence to be gained, as I will now direct…”


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13 Responses to CODE OCHRE #18

  1. That was a nice, gotcha moment.

    P.S. I’m fairly certain that cannabis stays in your blood for at least 3 weeks.

    • davehambo says:

      Hello Scott; glad you enjoyed! The most uptodate evidence that I could find when I drafted this novella was that in “virgin” cannabis users, a single moderate dose of the stuff would be found in the urine for 3-5 days after, blood for up to only 12-18 hours, but any hair sample after 7 days.

      In regular heavy users the urine stays positive almost all the time, as does the blood, unless they stop for at least a couple of weeks, but will be in hair for up to 3-4 months later.

      Those were the guideline figures used in medicolegal cases in Britain up to a couple of years ago and it hasn’t changed, seemingly?

      Thanks for your comment

  2. Tony says:

    Uh oh somebody blabbed. Looks like more murder & mayhem could be on the cards. This just gets more exciting by the day!!! I really am enjoying this novel immensely Dave

  3. Tony says:

    I went for a job interview at a local bearing factory once before I got the job I have mow & had to be drug tested as standard procedure for all applicants. I tested positive for opiates. The nurse looked at me like I was some kinda drug head loser & said “So what are you on!!!” It turned out to be the strong pain killers I had been taking for a tooth extraction I had a couple of days earlier.

    • davehambo says:

      Tony; that is a stunning example of the problem with urine illicit drug screening. The tests are so sensitive (being based on pregnancy test technology that now detects within a week of a missed period) BUT there are a wide range of false positive results. Perhaps I will do this a subject in medicofactofables in newaitchsee next week?

  4. Jillsy says:

    Okay…I’m caught up now after a weekend of fun and frolic at the lake!!

  5. Dan McGinley says:

    They tested me for the post office job in March, and I was cleared. Thirty years ago I may have failed miserably. I went from a rising athlete to numb and dumb overnight, but sometimes we live and learn, eh. This is a great, ripping tale right now, building with all of the clever history and characters coming to light. Can’t wait till tomorrow!

    • davehambo says:

      Hello Dan; thanks for your great encouragement and praise, hope the tale finishes adequately. Thirty years ago, you would have been quite safe with applying for jobs having “experimented”. The lab tests to detect such substances were complex, expensive and time consumming, reserved for major accidents, air crashes and so on. The quickie desk top tests have only been a round reliably since early 1990’s. Enjoy your day!

      • Dan McGinley says:

        Thanks, Dave! I love your professional input. It’s official . . . I’m going to tell people I have a doctor, and that will calm them a bit, when I get . . . confused. And . . . confused.

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