| 21.8°C Dublin

Case latest Bobby Messett died from single gunshot wound to head, murder trial hears

The jury also heard that the absence of secondary projectiles around the bullet's entry hole indicated that there was a distance of a meter or more between the victim and the shooter when the gun was fired

Close

Bobby Messett

Bobby Messett

Bobby Messett

Father-of-three Bobby Messett died from a single gunshot wound to the head as he took part in an early morning fitness class at Bray Boxing club, Dr Marie Cassidy has told a murder trial.

The jury also heard from the expert witness that the absence of secondary projectiles around the bullet's entry hole indicated that there was a distance of a meter or more between the victim and the shooter when the gun was fired.

Retired State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy on Friday gave evidence via video-link from the UK in the Central Criminal Court trial of Gerard Cervi (34), who is charged with murdering Mr Messett and the attempted murder of boxing trainer Peter Taylor and Ian Britton.

Mr Cervi, from the East Wall area of Dublin 3, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Messett (50) at Mr Taylor's Bray Boxing Club, Bray Harbour, Bray, Co Wicklow on June 5, 2018. He also denies the attempted murder of Mr Taylor and Mr Britton on the same occasion.

Close

Gerard Cervi (34) has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Gerard Cervi (34) has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Gerard Cervi (34) has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Retired State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC on Friday that she conducted a post mortem on Mr Messett, who was fully dressed in gym clothing, at St Columcille's Hospital in Loughlinstown on the afternoon of June 5.

The expert witness testified that she carried out a CT scan on the body, which was still in the body bag, prior to the physical examination.

In her evidence, Dr Cassidy said that Mr Messett had a ballistic type injury to the head caused by a bullet, which was consistent with a large exit wound at the back of the head. There were fractures to the skull and damage to the right side of the face, the entry site of the bullet, she said. There was no evidence of invasive attempts of resuscitation.

She pointed out that there was blood-staining over the left side of Mr Messett's neck and shoulder area. The back of the victim's t-shirt was heavily blood-stained because he had been lying face up and on his back since he was shot some hours earlier, she indicated.

Dr Cassidy said the only significant injury to Mr Messett was a single gunshot entry to the head and the gunshot entry wound was through the left side of the nose.

Describing the direction of the bullet after entry, the witness said it continued through the upper jaw bone, behind the nose and below the left eye, entering the skull cavity, then through the anterior of the front of the skull and the back section of the skull cavity. "The bullet is travelling from the left nostril area and the exit is at the back so it is going diagonally through the head," she explained.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

In summary, Dr Cassidy said the bullet had gone through the left side of the face and nose and travelled diagonally into the back of the skull cavity, injuring the under surface of the brain. "The brain was swollen as a reaction to the injury and damaging the right side of the brain. There were small injuries to the brain stem due to the shock wave produced," she continued.

As the bullet was travelling at "huge speed", the witness said it had created shock waves inside the skull cavity and tore the blood vessels in the brain stem, which controls one's breathing and heart rate. "This would cause an immediate collapse of the person as it is one of the most important areas of the brain to keep one alive," she added.

Furthermore, Dr Cassidy said there were various areas of haemorrhage in the head and blood had trickled down the back of the victim's throat blocking his airways.

Close

Pete Taylor at the Central Criminal Court where he gave evidence in the trial of Gerard Cervi for the murder of Bobby Messett at Bray Boxing Club, in June 2018.. Pic: Collins Courts

Pete Taylor at the Central Criminal Court where he gave evidence in the trial of Gerard Cervi for the murder of Bobby Messett at Bray Boxing Club, in June 2018.. Pic: Collins Courts

Pete Taylor at the Central Criminal Court where he gave evidence in the trial of Gerard Cervi for the murder of Bobby Messett at Bray Boxing Club, in June 2018.. Pic: Collins Courts

 

In conclusion, the witness said the postmortem showed that death was due to a single gunshot wound to the head, which had entered through the left side of the nose. The bullet had travelled through the head before exiting the right side of the head at the back. Haemorrhage into the brain stem would have caused instant collapse and rapid death, she remarked.

Dr Cassidy said the deceased's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

Referring to the distant range, the witness said this was a clean wound and only the primary projectile [the bullet] had struck the deceased's body. "In this instance the absence of secondary projectiles [such as smoke, soot and unburned powder] around the entry hole indicate that there was a distance of a metre or more between the victim and the shooter when the gun was fired," she explained.

Detective Garda Janette O'Neill, who is attached to the ballistics section of An Garda Siochana, gave evidence that she arrived at Bray Boxing club at 10.55am on June 5. The witness said there was blood on the front step of the stairs leading up the gym and on the inside of the staircase. She also observed a number of discharged cartridge cases at the top of the stairs as she entered the front door of the gym. Nine discharged cartridge cases in total were found at the scene which was consistent with nine bullets being fired, she said.

The trial continues this afternoon in front of Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of three men and nine women.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy