Since then the battery life has been very bad, and after a few weeks it just went into recovery mode. Needless to say, recovery in this mode (or DFU mode) failed with the error code (-1). I tried multiple times; that's the best advice I found. Googling this code seemed to indicate a hardware problem. iPad then went into bottom drawer.
So, a few months later I tried again. Still won't recover (don't know why I thought it would!). But I googled more and someone suggested it could be the baseband chip. Now I associate this with the 3G part and had a look at some disassembly videos. I broke it open gently, and then simply removed the communications module. This turned it into a iPad WiFi only - so what. It didn't bother me.
Now I have a working iPad again.
And the rant... I initially posted my question on apple support community forums. There did not seem to be anybody else with a solution. Then I found the cure and posted that thinking that it might help someone else in the future.
email from apple: "Your posting has been removed due to discussing inappropriate activities. See our posting guidelines here ..." I read the guidelines and it doesn't mention anything other than these forums are for technical questions and answers. I believe I answered correctly. Silly me to think that I could provide assistance to others.
BTW I didn't buy the iPad, it was a gift from a happy customer.