Accused poured boiling water on victim, court told
UPDATE: Toowoomba woman Peggy Louise Wyborn had started a chain of events which led to the death of Neil McCarthy, it has been claimed.
Mr McCarthy, 70, was found unconscious on the footpath outside his home at 7 Robsart St, North Toowoomba, just after 9pm, March 12, 2009.
He had sustained burns to his head and his face was bloodied and blistered, he had breathing problems and his jumper and jacket were wet.
Initially taken to Toowoomba Hospital, Mr McCarthy was transferred to the Royal Brisbane Hospital where three weeks later he died.
Opening the case against Wyborn, 30, Crown prosecutor Dennis Kinsella told Toowoomba Supreme Court it was the Crown case that Wyborn had poured hot water on Mr McCarthy.
He said only two people knew what actually took place that night, the deceased and the defendant who were known to each other.
Wyborn has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
The Crown claimed Wyborn had made the 000 call directing an ambulance to Mr McCarthy though she had used a false name.
Police who door-knocked the area spoke to Wyborn who said she had gone to bed early and hadn't heard anything.
Police noticed liquid and a bloody footprint on the porch of Wyborn's home.
Tests found that blood was the deceased's, Mr Kinsella said.
Wyborn later told police Mr McCarthy had been to her home that day but she didn't know what had happened to him.
Through a diagram shown to the court, Mr Kinsella went through a series of events which he said led to Mr McCarthy's death, starting with the hot water poured on his face which led to him being found unconscious and taken to hospital.
While in hospital, he sustained an infection and had to be immobilised in bed. Though treated to prevent deep vein thrombosis, Mr McCarthy had developed DVT which led to blood clots in his legs which eventually moved to his heart and lungs, ultimately causing his death.
A pre-existing hole in the heart could also have contributed to death, the autopsy found.
The Crown claimed by pouring hot water on the deceased Wyborn had intended to cause serious injury and that had set off the chain of events leading to his death, Mr Kinsella said.
However, defence barrister Geoff Seaholme urged the jury to keep an open mind until all the expert evidence was heard.
Mr Seaholme said the defence would also call a clinical pathologist who would say Mr McCarthy's pre-existing heart condition could have been the cause of death.
Any break in the chain of events proposed by the Crown would make causation a real issue for the prosecution, he said.
The trial before Justice Peter Lyons continues.
EARLIER: The trial of Toowoomba woman Peggy Louise Wyborn who is accused of the murder of 70-year-old Neil McCarthy started this morning in the city's Supreme Court.
Ms Wyborn, 30, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder and a jury of seven men and five women has been selected to hear the case which is expected to run for about five days.
Mr McCarthy was found unconscious on the footpath outside his home at 7 Robsart St, North Toowoomba, on the night of March 12, 2009.
He had burns to his face, head, inner mouth and throat which police at the time believed was caused by a hot liquid or chemical, possibly thrown or poured over him.
The trial is expected to hear from 24 witnesses and the Crown is expected open its case prior to lunch.