One single blow from a large iron bar to the back of a man’s head was likely to have been the cause of death, a pathologist has testified in the Fermoy murder trial.
The deceased man’s body was found lying on the ground between two parked trucks at the truck stop of Amber filling station in February 2017 with blood pooling at the back of his head and shoulders.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster testified that he died as a result of blunt force trauma to the back of his head consistent with being struck once by an iron bar.
Tomasz Wasowicz, 45, and Marcin Skrzypezyk, 31, are on trial charged with the murder of Ludovit Pasztor, 40, on February 21, 2017, at the Amber filling station at Carrrignagroghera, Fermoy, County Cork. Mr Wasowicz also faces the additional charge of being in possession of a weapon, namely a stun-gun at the same date and place.
Dr Bolster concluded that the late Mr Pasztor suffered a depressed complex fracture at the base of his skull where three lacerations were also evident, consistent with a single blow from an iron bar with a washer at one end and a screw.
This bar was found near his body. She said the traumatic brain injury due to blunt force trauma to the head was consistent with one forceful blow from the iron bar.
Asked by Siobhán Lankford, prosecution senior counsel, if his injuries could have been caused by a blow from a torch also found at the scene, Dr Bolster could not completely rule that out but said it was more consistent with a single blow from the iron bar.
Blood alcohol concentration equivalent to the consumption of about six or seven pints of alcohol was found on examination of the deceased.
Detective Garda Valerie Barry testified that Mariusz Osail, a friend of the deceased, was crying at the scene where the dead body was found on the night and he was very upset.
When the detective asked him what had happened he said he and the deceased had been drinking together. He said they went to the Amber filling station for more drink and as they walked back to his house nearby they got into an argument with two lorry drivers.
Mr Osail said Mr Pasztor was upset and angry and got an iron bar from the back of his (Mr Osail’s) house and went back to the truck area and a fight ensued.
Defence senior counsel representing Mr Wasowicz, Tim O’Leary, said that Mr Osail had first told Det. Garda Barry’s colleague, Garda Noel Howley, in relation to the deceased, “that he fell”.
Tom Creed, defence senior counsel representing Mr Skrzypezyk, said that from Det. Garda Barry’s evidence, Mr Osail had told her that, “He and his friend had been attacked by someone”.
Mr Creed said Mr Osail also told Det. Garda Barry “that the deceased got a bar and came back for a fight. He did not tell you he also got a bar and came back for a fight.” The detective agreed that this was what Mr Osail told her, and she added that they had not located the second iron bar at that time.
Mr Creed said: “He (Mr Osail) did not tell you he was banging on the driver’s door to get them to come out?” The detective replied, “No.”
Mr Creed suggested that Mr Osail was describing the background to the incident being the deceased’s fault and that he (Mr Osail) gave an account that absolved himself of responsibility. The detective replied, “Yes.”
The trial goes into its seventh day at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork tomorrow before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of eight men and four women.