Sunday 15 September 2019

Murder trial hears that woman's injuries not consistent with 'simple fall down the stairs'

Renars Veigulis denies murder of Rita Apine
Renars Veigulis denies murder of Rita Apine

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A pathologist has told the trial of a man accused of murdering his partner that the deceased’s injuries were not consistent with a “simple fall down the stairs”.

Renars Veigulis (32) of Old Bridge Street in Freshford, Co Kilkenny has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Rita Apine (29) at their home on or about May 14, 2017.

Mr Veigulis told ambulance staff that his partner fell down the stairs, while prosecuting lawyers have told the jury they will hear evidence that her injuries were inconsistent with a fall.

State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan gave evidence today to Vincent Heneghan SC, for the prosecution, that she attended the scene at Old Bridge Street on May 15, 2017 and subsequently conducted a post mortem examination on the body of Ms Apine.

Dr Mulligan concluded that Ms Apine suffered severe blunt force trauma to the head.

She said Ms Apine had bruising to the eyes which, she concluded, were caused by direct trauma to that area of the face.

She said her injuries were not consistent with a “simple fall down the stairs”.

Dr Mulligan said she found bruising on both of Ms Apine’s forearms which indicated blunt force trauma and “possibly represent defensive injuries”.

However, when the bruising to the forearms was considered in conjunction with injuries to Ms Apine’s legs, she said a fall down the stairs could not be “excluded”.

She said death occurred because of massive blood loss as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. There was no skull bone fracture.

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