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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Carlisle murder accused left with disabled hands

Murder accused Jamie Armstrong was found to have “catastrophic” hand injuries in the wake of the fatal stabbing he is accused of inflicting.

andy jamie armstrong
Accused: Jamie Armstrong got to know Luke Hollingsworth in 2012

Related: Carlisle murder trial hears 999 plea for help

Wounds included cut tendons to both hands that left Armstrong, now 21, unable to curl or grip fingers, his murder trial was told.

An expert witness said Armstrong’s own account of how he was hurt could explain two of his injuries but not a third.

He is accused of murdering Luke Hollingsworth, a charge he denies.

Pub worker Mr Hollingsworth, 23, was discovered dead in his home in Etterby Lea Road, Stanwix, Carlisle, on July 10 last year after suffering multiple stab wounds.

Armstrong, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, denies killing him, claiming the pair were attacked by men demanding money and drugs.

He was found injured at the scene.

On day five of the murder trial yesterday, forensic physician Dr Peter Green took to the witness box.

Brian Cummings QC, prosecuting, posed a series of questions put by police.

He asked: “Would it be possible for an individual to self-inflict the level of injury the defendant suffered?”

Dr Green said it was possible but it would be “a very unusual site” for self-injury.

On one hand that suffered two wounds, Mr Cummings asked what type of weapon was likely to have caused the injuries.

Dr Green said: “It could be two actions with a single sharp edge. Or it could be the result of the hand gripping onto a double-edged knife.”

The court previously heard that Armstrong said he was slashed on his hands with a knife by one of the men he said was in the house.

Dr Green was asked how the injuries to Armstrong’s hands could have been caused, mentioning a statement where he said he held his hands up to protect himself and was slashed.

Dr Green agreed it could explain an injury to each hand – but could not explain two injuries on one of his hands.

Under cross-examination by defence barrister Michael Hayton QC, Dr Green said the site of the injuries were “the sort of place you can get defensive wounds”.

He agreed injury could have been caused in the way Armstrong described.

Earlier jurors listened to the distraught 999 call of Mr Hollingsworth’s girlfriend after she discovered the aftermath of the fatal attack.

In a clearly distressed state, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says: “I need an ambulance. I walked in. My boyfriend has been stabbed.”

The jury were also shown video footage of Mr Hollingsworth in places including Botchergate in Carlisle and the Woodrow Wilson pub where he worked.

It came as prosecutors revealed evidence of a string of phone calls and texts in the lead-up to Mr Hollingsworth’s death, including those between the phones of both him and the man accused of killing him.

The court was told earlier that Mr Hollingsworth and Armstrong were involved in dealing cannabis.

The trial continues. It is expected to last four weeks.

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