Supreme Court told head injuries caused death

A SPECIALIST forensic pathologist with 18 years experience has delivered his autopsy findings during a murder trial in the Bundaberg Supreme Court.

Lucas John Scot Bell 25, has pleaded not guilty to causing the death of Caine Hammond, 28, the partner of Bell's sister Lori.

Mr Hammond was knocked unconscious at the Bell's family home in Euleilah on April 27, 2012 and died two days later in hospital.

Dr Rohan Samarasinghe told the court Mr Hammond suffered numerous injuries to his head and face, arms, legs, neck, upper back and side, but concluded that it was the injuries to the right hand side of the victim's head that caused his death.

"Significant injuries, internal injuries, to the head," he said.

"The brain ceased to function from swelling."

Dr Samarasinghe said "at least moderate force" would have been required to cause a "large area of haemorrhaging under the scalp on the right hand side".

In detailing Mr Hammond's injuries, Dr Samarasinghe said the victim had suffered bruising to the inside of his top and bottom lip, consistent with "blunt force to the front of the mouth".

When asked by crown prosecutor Greg Cummings if the injuries were consistent with someone being kneed to the face and falling on to the concrete kitchen floor, Dr Samarasinghe replied "that is possible."

When asked if Mr Hammond showed any signs of defensive injuries, Dr Samarasinghe said there were no cuts or bruises to the front of his hands or his knuckles.

But defence barrister John McInnes put it to Dr Samarasinghe that the injury which caused Mr Hammond's death could have occurred minutes earlier during an incident in the bedroom and that it was possible Mr Hammond didn't immediately show signs of his injury.

"It's not unknown for a person to remain lucid after receiving an injury which is in fact causing a subdural hematoma, is that correct?"

Dr Samarasinghe said it was theoretically possible.

The six male six female jury spent this afternoon at the Euleilah property where the incident took place.

Before they departed the courthouse, Justice Duncan McMeekin told the jurors what they would see at the house was not evidence but the purpose of the viewing was to help them understand the evidence.

The trial continues tomorrow.



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