Man found in River Bandon died of strangulation

Man found in River Bandon died of strangulation

A murder trial has heard that a man, whose body was found in the River Bandon, died due to ligature strangulation.

The jury was shown the electrical cable that was wrapped around his neck when he was discovered.

The evidence was given to the Central Criminal Court yesterday (Friday) in the trial of a man charged with murdering the 27-year-old in Co Cork on November 13, 2011.

Ciprian Grozavu (42), with a last address at Bridge House, Sean Hales Place in Bandon, is charged with murdering Jonathan Duke at that address. The Romanian father of one has pleaded not (NOT) guilty.

The jury has heard that Mr Grozavu’s then acquaintance, Catherine O’Connor, has since been found guilty of Mr Duke's murder.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster testified that she carried out a post-mortem exam on Mr Duke’s body.

She described the red ligature marks found around his neck.

“It’s a complex ligature around the neck. There’s crossing over,” she explained.

She also outlined multiple bruises and abrasions to his head and body inflicted by both blunt-force trauma and with a sharp weapon.

Among the other injuries she found was a short fracture of the skull, which could have resulted from a significant injury or fall. She said this could also have been caused during movement of body.

She found an incise wound to the lower back, which would have led to significant blood loss.

There was a laceration with very irregular margins to his cheek, with a piece of skin almost totally torn off the area.

She also described a pattern injury of the right forearm, which she said was possibly caused by broken crockery.

Despite tests, it was impossible to say for definite if he was still alive when put in the water. However, she said it was likely that he was ‘either dead or virtually dead’.

She gave the cause of death as asphyxia due to ligature strangulation, associated with blunt and sharp force trauma resulting in bleeding and blood loss.

Inspector Fergal Foley then entered the witness box to show the jury the black electrical cable or cord that was intertwined in three loops around Mr Duke’s neck.

He also showed them a white cable to which it was tied under the plug. He explained that this was hanging loosely from the back of Mr Duke’s neck and floating in the water when his body was found.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of eight men and four women.

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