Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Kicks and Stamps' Most Likely Cause of Head Injury

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Kicks and Stamps' Most Likely Cause of Head Injury

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot Court Reporter

SHANE Tunney suffered a fatal head injury most likely from kicks and stamps, a murder trial jury heard.

Dr Mark Egan was asked whether the injuries suffered by Shane Tunney on June 27 last year were "a significant cause of his death".

"Yes, without doubt," replied the Home Office pathologist, giving evidence at Teesside Crown Court.

Seven teenagers are accused of carrying out a brutal "pack attack" on Mr Tunney, 24, on Norton High Street.

Dr Egan examined Mr Tunney when he was still alive and critically ill in hospital, and after his death on July 29 last year.

He said Mr Tunney suffered bleeding, severe swelling and widespread damage to the brain.

He told jurors: "The deceased has had a severe head injury and it has caused death. It also caused unconsciousness so this has required in my opinion a moderate degree of force.

"In my opinion the most likely cause of the head injury is multiple blows in the form of kicks and stamps. But that's based on the severity of the brain injury alone.

"The medical evidence cannot establish to the level of certainty that kicks, stamps or a weapon were utilised."

He said he found no external injuries pointing to kicks, stamps or a weapon.

Any possible evidence of multiple blows to the head, or one blow followed by a fall, was "obscured" by marks or injuries from surgery.

He added an "accelerated fall" or one punch were possible causes, but non-medical evidence pointed away from them. "We see these injuries quite often and it would be quite exceptional to receive these injuries from one blow to the head," said Dr Egan.

"And if it was accelerated fall you would usually see a fracture to the skull."

Dr Egan found no evidence that Mr Tunney had delivered or deflected any blows. …

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