A TAXI driver suffered such severe blows to his skull with a blunt object that his eyeball was driven into his brain cavity, a court was told.
A Central Criminal Court murder trial heard that Michael Healy (62) sustained at least six blows to the head as he lay in his bed with his skull shattering into jigsaw-like fragments.
These bone fragments were in turn driven back into his brain, causing fatal injuries.
The revelation came as Lloyd Buckley (39) denied the murder of Mr Healy (62) two years ago.
Mr Buckley has pleaded guilty to the taxi driver's manslaughter but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ruled out accepting the plea to the lesser charge.
The defendant denies the murder of Mr Healy at Flat G, 3 Rocksprings Terrace, Cork between September 18 and 22 2010. Mr Buckley lived at Flat F, 3 Rocksprings Terrace.
State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, told the trial that Mr Healy died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Dr Cassidy conducted a post mortem examination at Cork University Hospital on September 22 and noted 11 lacerations to Mr Healy's head with at least six severe blows to the skull. The blows were inflicted with a blunt, heavy object most likely as Mr Healy was laying or reclining on the bed in his bedsit. A moderate level of alcohol was found in the taxi driver's system.
She said the force of the blows would have immediately immobilised Mr Healy whose body was subsequently found in a pool of blood in the bathroom.
Dr Cassidy said the body had to be moved there by a third party. Dr Cassidy said while the blows would have immediately left him unconscious, he must have lived for a period afterwards because blood was found inhaled into his lungs.
The force of the blows shattered his skull and even his eye-socket. Mr Healy – a native of Grenagh and a father-of-two – worked as a taxi driver in Cork for more than two decades.
He lived alone in the St Luke's flat not far from Cork city centre for almost 10 years. The trial continues today.