Dr. Robert Coope – Statements & Reports

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09/04/1931 Letter:

09/04/1931 Report #1:

15/04/1931 Summary:

Report #2:

Main Trial:


Transcript (John Gannon):

3791. Is your name Robert Coope? Yes.
3792. You have various medical degrees which I need not trouble with.
3793. You practice at 13, Rodney Street, Liverpool? Yes.
3794. Are you Honorary Assistant Physician to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary? Yes.
3795. Physician to the Liverpool Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, Lecturer in clinical Chemistry and Acting Demonstrator in Medical Pathology at the University of Liverpool? Yes.
3796. Have you made a very large series of tests with regard to the clotting of human blood? 115 experiments in all.
3797. With regard to the time, it takes to clot and the condition of it from time to time? Yes and the trying of it.
3798. First of all, with regard to a single drop of fresh blood. If that falls upon a hard substance what happens? It will be perfectly flat – I beg your pardon, not perfectly flat but with a slight curve upon it and it is so fluid. If you take that as a section with the corpuscles running down to the edge you see them actually as a halo round the edge as the clot dries.
3799. That is when it is absolutely dry? When it is absolutely dry.
3800. We need not trouble about that. That is not the point. But starting from there how quickly does it first begin to clot? It depends how you measure the clot. If you measure, the clot by the time it takes to become jelly so that you can turn a saucer over it takes much longer than the time when you test it by certain clinical methods which are given in the books.
3801. MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: You have been here some time I suppose? Yes, my Lord.
3802. Have you heard the evidence about what was found on this woman? I have, my Lord.
3803. MR ROLAND OLIVER: I will put the question direct. We know the experiments made by Professor MacFall. The proposition is with regard to that clot on the edge of the pan? Yes.
3804. MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: Had the drop of blood which formed that little thing been coagulated or was it fresh when it fell on that pan? I should say, my Lord, it was at least an hour coagulated or I think considerably longer; and the reason I give for thinking it considerably longer is in the drying of it. Certain experiments have been made.
3805. MR ROLAND OLIVER: Before you come to that will you just answer this. In your view that clot must have been an hour at least away from the hand that shed it before it fell from the hand? Yes, an hour.
3806. And you think very likely longer? Yes, I do.
3807. Is that the result of the many experiments which you have made? It is.
3808. MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: Suppose it fell from a height of 15 inches, what would you say? It would be flat, my Lord, even if it fell from a height of a quarter of an inch.
3809. You mean if it was fresh blood? If it was fresh blood, even if it were what I call a soft clot it has to be a firm clot and it will take that shape and retain that shape.
3810. MR ROLAND OLIVER: Did you find it consistent with your own experience that that clot of blood should be only away from the veins which produced it two or three minutes before it fell? No.
3811. MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: supposing it had been one or two minutes, what would you say? No, my Lord, I will not go under an hour. That is the minimum. I think it was much longer, but that certainly is the minimum.


3812. You have not seen this clot? I have not.
3813. You made these experiments recently? I have.
3814. For the purpose of giving evidence here? Yes.
3815. You heard what Mr Roberts said this morning about his experiments? I did.
3816. They must have been very surprising to you? Yes, they were.
3817. They were? They were indeed.
3818. Can you account for the difference in any way? Is it the wet surface or anything that can be accounted for? The wet surface makes them go out even flatter as I made the experiments.
3819. That is what I am going to suggest? That is so.
3820. You can suggest nothing that will reconcile your views? Nothing.
3821. Your experiments have yielded entirely different results? Quite.
3822. Can you help us upon this question; does female blood coagulate quicker than male blood? Very slightly, yes, but it varies. The test books give you definite figures but it varies from patient to patient.
3823. I suppose textbooks, like experts, vary? The do.
3824. You tried all sorts of heights too? Yes, I did. I tried some preliminary experiments with heights but I eventually found one got results which were quite inconsistent with Mr Roberts’ experiments even with heights of a quarter of an inch.
3825. MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: How did you make those experiments? Of course, my Lord, I started making them for the purpose of this case on February 26th, and I have continued them since.
3826. And you have kept notes about them? Yes, my Lord.
3827. MR HEMMERDE: Have you seen the wall in this house at 29, Wolverton Street? No.
3828. We know there are sports of actual fresh blood there? Yes.
3829. You have seen them? I have not seen them.
3830. Then you cannot speak about that. Have you seen the pictures which have been produced here? I have.
3831. Would you look at them? (Same handed). Have you got a glass there? I am suggesting to you that some of these spots thrown upon the wall bear that shape? One cannot tell the depth of them.
3832. Let me see that one? Do you mean the depth, because the depth is the important point?
3833. Will you look at this one here, or any of these, just round by the young woman there?
MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: Is this one of the Exhibits?
MR HEMMERDE: It is a picture from the room, my Lord and one of the Exhibits.
THE WITNESS: Which one do you mean?
3834. The one by the young woman? They are semi-circular but if you look at that sideways, you could not possibly think they were anything more than thin flicks, nothing like three-sixteenths of an inch to one-eighth of an inch.
3835. But that has dried without running? I think we are misunderstanding one another. This was not wet.
3836. Are you assuming merely a damp surface? I have done experiments with both damp surfaces and dry.
3837. Then you have done one on a similar surface to that? Yes. Then I got a round spot like this but nothing like the area, the depth of the spot described.
3838. They have dried tremendously now, they are months old. Were they red?
3839. I cannot tell you that? It is inconceivable to me that they were.
3840. MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: Each clot was one-eighth of an inch in depth and three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter? Yes.


3841. I understand that was handed to you as indicating that even those spots were red. Did you understand that? I understood that.
3842. Will you look at them? Are they in any way red, any of them? Not at all.
3843. They are just what you would expect? They are just what I should expect with fresh blood.
3844. MR HEMMERDE: But the shape? I am not disputing the semi-circular shape.
3845. MR ROLAND OLIVER: It is its depth as compared with its diameter which you base your opinion? Yes, that is so.
MR ROLAND OLIVER: The depth of the area, my Lord.


MR ROLAND OLIVER: I have here a number of people who saw him that afternoon.
MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: I do not suppose the jury would want to see them?
MR ROLAND OLIVER: If it is indicated to me that I need not trouble with that part of the case I will not do so.
MR HEMMERDE: I shall make no point of the Rothwell part of the case.
MR ROLAND OLIVER: If that is understood, and the Prosecution will not comment on it I will not trouble to call them.
MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: No, the Prosecution will not say that a man looks rather haggard.
MR HEMMERDE: If he had not been called at the police court, I should not have mentioned it.
MR ROLAND OLIVER: I would like to call the last two of them in point of fact to show what his demeanour was at six o’clock.
MR JUSTICE WRIGHT: That is not unreasonable.
MR ROLAND OLIVER: If your Lordship pleases.

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