‘Unlikely’ that person acted alone in tying up body

A pathologist who observed a complex of multiple injuries on the body of a dead man found tied up in the River Bandon said it was very unlikely a person acting alone could have tied up and disposed of the body.

‘Unlikely’ that person acted alone in tying up body

Dr Margot Bolster, the assistant State pathologist, was giving evidence in the trial of Ciprian Grozavu, aged 39, of Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, Co Cork, who denies murdering John Forrester, aged 42, at Bridge House on November 12, 2011.

The jury previously heard Catherine O’Connor had admitted the murder. Mr Grozavu told gardaí she did it alone.

Dr Bolster told the court yesterday: “It is very unlikely a person acting on their own could have achieved this.”

Tom Creed, defending, said Ms O’Connor was a very tall woman, at 6ft 4in. “She would be able to truss this unfortunate man when he was dead,” Mr Creed suggested.

Dr Bolster said: “I have 30 years’ experience dealing with bodies and it is very unlikely someone could have done that acting alone.

“It is very difficult to manoeuvre a deceased person. That is where the term, a dead weight, comes from.”

Mr Creed said the television cable found wrapped around the deceased’s neck, body, wrists, and ankles was merely wrapped around him.

Dr Bolster said the way in which the cable was around the body was complex.

Dr Bolster’s conclusions on cause of death were a combination of blunt force trauma to the head, bleeding due to sharp wounds, considerable wounds to the body, and asphyxia due to strangulation.

Alcohol and drugs were described as contributory factors.

She said the body showed signs of having sustained considerable blows to the head and body.

Dr Bolster said some of the lacerations were in keeping with being jabbed with a broken piece of crockery such as a plate or a cup.

Detective Sergeant Fergal Foley handed the pathologist an item of evidence, a piece of black cloth which was knotted.

Mr Creed argued that it would not have been big enough to go around the deceased’s neck.

Dr Bolster placed the circle of ragged cloth around her own neck and said it would have easily gone around the deceased’s neck.

She said the way in which the television cable was tied around the body would not have worked as a ligature to strangle him.

Mr Creed put it to the witness that the cable could have been used first as a ligature to strangle and secondly used to tie the body. Dr Bolster accepted that was a possibility.

The trial continues.

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