Court hears victim was stabbed in the back of the tongue
A consultant pathologist with 28 years' experience said she had never before seen the type of injuries discovered on a man found dead at his home in Donegal.
Dr Alison Armour was giving evidence at the trial of Krzystof Grzegorski (22), and Dariusz Weckowicz (51). Both men, who lived in Letterkenny, are accused of the murder of Bogdan Michalkiewicz on May 13 2013 at the deceased's home in Westside, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
Mr Grzegorski has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter. His plea was not accepted by the State. Mr Weckowicz has pleaded not guilty.
Dr Armour told prosecuting counsel Alex Owens SC that she examined photos from the pathology report initially carried out by former Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber.
She identified at least 46 injuries to the head and face that included stab wounds and injuries consistent with punching, kicking or hitting with a blunt object.
She saw bruising to the chest that she said would be consistent with stamping and would require "considerable force" plus multiple stab wounds to the stomach and two that went through the liver.
He had six fractured ribs and his skull, forehead and the bones in his face had suffered multiple fractures that caused "severe disruption and disfigurement to the head and face".
She said the knife wounds to the head and face were highly unusual but that a series of stab wounds to the back of the tongue were even more strange.
"I have not seen this in my career," she said. She identified nine separate stab wounds to the back of the tongue but was unable to explain how they were inflicted.
She further noted that the dead man's throat had been cut, severing the main arteries and veins going to and from the brain.
In total, she identified three separate injuries that would have been sufficient to kill Mr Michalkiewicz and concluded that he died from a combination of stabbing, slashing and blunt force traumas.
Some of the injuries were inflicted after death.
She added that Mr Michalkiewicz had defence injuries to his hands and legs and that the assault "would have caused pain and suffering. It is my opinion that this man was the victim of a sustained and violent assault."
Speaking to defence counsel for Mr Grzegorski, Michael Bowman SC, she agreed that the injuries were "considerably in excess of the requirement to cause death."
The trial continues before Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women tomorrow (Thurs).