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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Man died from multiple stab wounds, Carlisle murder trial told

Luke Hollingsworth’s killer would have had to use “considerable force” when stabbing his victim, according to the pathologist who examined his injuries.

Luke Hollingsworth photo
Luke Hollingsworth

Related: Carlisle murder accused left with disabled hands

Dr Alison Armour was giving evidence at Carlisle Crown Court as the murder trial entered its second week.

It was also revealed that injuries to murder accused Jamie Armstrong’s hands could have been either self-inflicted, or received while he was trying to defend himself.

Dr Armour said that “multiple stab wounds” were the cause of Mr Hollingsworth’s death and some of the injuries were so serious that they alone would have been enough to end the 23-year-old’s life.

She outlined a range of wounds to his head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs and arms and said some had damaged the bone. She said: “If a knife causes damage to the bone it requires considerable force to inflict.”

Dr Armour said that one of the chest wounds was 16cm deep and it had punctured the right lung, causing it to collapse.

She added that another, in the abdominal cavity, had severed both the vein and artery of his left kidney producing catastrophic bleeding. She said: “If you are not near a hospital you are going to die from this massive blood loss.”

When asked about Armstrong’s injuries to both hands – which included a deep cut to the left palm – she said that the could have been self-inflicted because they were all easily accessible.

However she added: “They are typical of defence-type injuries. The deep wound to the palm of the left hand in my view would be consistent with someone trying to grab the blade of a knife.”

When interviewed by police, Armstrong he claimed memory loss over what had happened, caused by a combination of smoking cannabis and blood loss.

However, expert witness Professor Charles Deakin, who works with patients who have suffered blood loss in Hampshire, said his blood pressure readings and pulse rate did not back this up.

He said: “The blood pressure was certainly elevated and higher than what would be considered normal.

“It was perhaps slightly higher than normal blood pressure which might be the result of an adrenaline-fuelled struggle.”

Mr Hollingsworth was found dead at his home in Etterby Lea Road, Stanwix, on July 10 last year. Armstrong denies murder.

The trial continues.

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