Saturday 18 November 2017

Man (30) who was found dead in murky drain died from neck compression, court hears

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Alison O'Riordan

A 30-year-old man whose body was found in a murky drain died as a result of neck compression, a murder trial has heard.

The Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, today gave evidence in the Central Criminal Court trial of Andresj Krauze.

Mr Krauze (31), of Dudley Heights, Glenamaddy, Co Galway, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Juris Buls at an unknown time on July 7 or 8, 2011 in the county of Galway.

Dr Curtis said that he was asked by gardai to go to a location in a forest, near Glenamaddy, on July 24, 2011. The witness agreed with prosecution counsel, Mr Paul Carroll SC, that the deceased was largely submerged in a bog drain in the forest.  Only the right heel of the deceased's boot was visible and he was faced down in the water.

Dr Curtis testified that a rope was placed around Mr Buls’s ankles to recover his body and he was pulled from the water. The witness noted that the deceased’s body was beginning to deteriorate.

Dr Curtis said he later carried out a post-mortem examination of Mr Buls’s body at University College Galway. He said the body was covered with green foliage from the water. He said there was no evidence of any skull fracture nor any brain injury.

Dr Curtis said there was bruising to the right hand side of Mr Buls's neck area as well as to a bigger muscle which ran from behind his ear to his collar bone. There was also bruising on Mr Buls's strap muscleswhich are located towards the mid-line of the neck.

“The Adam’s apple has little extensions of bone up either side of the neck and the one on the left was fractured. I also noted surroundingbruising,” he said.

The hyoid bone was intact and the jugular veins were uninjured. There was no evidence of any fractures to the rest of the body.

In conclusion, Dr Curtis said that Mr Buls's body was in a state of putrefaction and because of this it was possible that some bruising could have been lost in the process. However, the witness said the presence of any cuts or wounds would still be apparent on a body in this condition.

Dr Curtis gave the cause of death as neck compression. He said the neck compression was more consistent with an armlock or headlock rather than a length of material such as a rope or piece of cloth.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

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