Monday 23 October 2017

Deputy State Pathologist tells murder trial that stab wounds suggest second weapon

Anne Sharkey

A 53-year-old man sustained a multitude of stab wounds, including one which penetrated his right lung, in an attack at his home over one year ago, a murder trial has heard.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave evidence today (Tuesday) in the trial of a 35-year-old man charged with murdering a Dubliner and concealing his body in a wardrobe.

Anthony Locke from Prussia Street in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering Christopher Jackson (53) on the 7 September 2012.

Brother of the accused, Bernard Locke (41), from Ramillies Road Ballyfermot, is awaiting sentence after pleading guilty last week (Tuesday) to the murder of Mr Jackson.

Mr Jackson’s body was found covered in two black plastic bags and a duvet cover in the wardrobe of his bedroom that September 7.

Having attended the scene, Dr Curtis told the Central Criminal Court that the body of the deceased was in the foetal position within the wardrobe on September 8.

“I observed a wardrobe that concealed the body of a human being,” he testified.

“There were multiple stab wounds to the back of the body and the side of the face and neck. The knees were flexed and there were multiple stab wounds on the chest.”

“The body was in the foetal position. At 8pm on Saturday 8 September, I formally pronounced life extinct.”

Dr Curtis told the court that he carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr Jackson’s body the day after it was found.

“This man is seen to have sustained a multitude of stab wounds in excess of 70 including a large stab wound on the front of the chest penetrating the right lung.”

“Cause of death was multiple stab wounds.”

He said that the appearance of the wounds would suggest that more than one weapon was used.

“Wounds on the chest and face would be consistent with a larger knife. The appearance of stab wounds would suggest that more than one weapon had been used.”

Under cross examination by Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, Dr Curtis confirmed that the injury to Christopher Jacksons chest would have been enough to kill him within minutes.

“You referred to a wound track which continued to transect the right internal mammary artery – would that be enough to kill someone rapidly,” said Mr Dwyer.

Dr Curtis replied ‘yes’.

Under re-examination by Conor Devally SC, prosecuting, Dr Curtis said that the deceased would have been able to move for several minutes at first and that there were no wounds consistent with a fork.

“It was not necessarily immediately fatal or incapacitating – he could have moved for several minutes,” said Dr Curtis.

“There was no wound consistent with the wound of a fork.”

A ballistics officer said she examined the scene in the flat on Prussia Street and made a number of observations.

Referring to her notes taken in September 2012, Detective Garda Louise O Loughlin said she removed a number of items from the wardrobe.

“I removed a suspect package from the wardrobe. There were a number of layers wrapped around the package including black plastic sacks and a yellow and blue coloured floral sheet. Also contained was blue and white runners, a blue kitchen dishcloth and a hack saw with a blade missing – all items were heavily bloodstained.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of three women and nine men.

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