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Officer 'Was At Point Of Death'

THE physician who performed surgery on a wounded policeman during early morning hours said the officer appeared to be at the point of imminent death.

Dr Duane Sands, the attending physician to Constable Jimmy Ambrose on the early morning of March 29, 1999, testified in Supreme Court yesterday about being called to the Princess Margaret Hospital to operate on the officer who had been wounded.

The surgeon who trained in all areas of surgery but specialises in cardiovascular operations, said he went to the trauma room at PMH where he saw the constable.

“How did you he appear to you?” the prosecutor asked.

“I would describe him as being ‘in extremis,’” Dr Sands answered. When asked for clarification, the surgeon added that Ambrose “appeared to be at the point of imminent death.”

Andrew Davis, Clint Evans and Stephen Stubbs sat in the prisoner’s dock listening as the physician recalled the morning he operated on Constable Ambrose.

The three men each face a charge of murder and attempted murder in connection with the March 29, 1999 shooting death of Constable Jimmy Ambrose.

Evans is separately charged with two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to put another in fear.

It is claimed that the three accused, on the day in question, murdered Constable Jimmy Ambrose and attempted to kill Constable Marcian Scott.

It is also alleged that Evans possessed a firearm with intent to put Constables Frank Burrows and Calvin Robinson in fear for their lives.

All three men denied the charges and pleaded not guilty when formally arraigned at the opening of the trial.

Stubbs is represented by Murrio Ducille and Jerone Roberts while Davis and Evans are represented by Ian Cargill and Romona Farquharson-Seymour respectively.

Yesterday, Dr Sands described Ambrose’s state as he and medics were attending to him.

“He was sweaty. He was cold. He was agitated. He was bleeding profusely and he had a number of wounds about his body,” the physician said.

“The patient received aggressive resuscitation because his blood pressure was very low because he was dying,” Dr Sands said, adding that he went to the operating theatre with Ambrose.

“I commenced his surgery by opening his abdomen down to just near his groin,” Dr Sands said, while noting that there was a “massive amount of blood, stool and urine mixed up in the abdominal cavity.”

Dr Sands said a single bullet was removed from Ambrose. At this point, Mr Ducile objected on the basis that Dr Sands’ evidence was not provided to the defence in the Crown’s notice of additional evidence document.

Justice Roy Jones said he would allow it and Dr Sands continued his evidence.

The physician said a major artery in the patient’s leg was ruptured and “he was bleeding to death from that.” Dr Sands and the team had the vein quickly sewn to “save the integrity of the vessel.”

Dr Sands noted that after surgery, he was not closed up and when asked why, he said it was “because he (Ambrose) was so seriously injured, his bowels were left in a plastic bag.”

In the meantime, Ambrose was receiving blood to restore the blood loss from the numerous wounds he sustained. Ambrose was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where at around 4pm, he died of his injuries.

Regarding the bullet that was found, Dr Sands said he had the bullet scrubbed before placing it in a sterile urine cup and sealing it before handing it over to a circulating nurse in the room.

In cross-examination, Ian Cargill asked the physician if he could tell the court what had happened to the bullet after handing it over to the circulating nurse.

Dr Sands said he could not.

Mr Ducille and Mrs Farquharson-Seymour offered no cross-examination.

The trial resumes today.

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