A Maryborough man who was found dead in his home in 2018 died from blunt force injuries to his face and head, a court has heard.
Two teenagers are standing trial in the Supreme Court for the murder of 45-year-old John Bourke, having pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Forensic pathologist Dr Linda Iles gave evidence that Mr Bourke died as a result of facial and head injuries following multiple instances of blunt force.
The court heard Mr Bourke had bleeding under the skull and damage to nerve fibres.
Dr Iles described multiple lacerations and abrasions to Mr Bourke's face and the inside of his lips, which she said were recent injuries caused by blunt force.
The court was also told Mr Bourke sustained deep lacerations to each side of his tongue.
The trial so far:
- Day 1: Murder trial begins for teens accused of killing Maryborough man
- Day 2: Court hears teen charged with murder was drunk and upset night man died
- Day 3: Neighbours heard yelling on the night Maryborough man died, jury told
- Day 4: Teen heard saying he went to the wrong home night man died, court told
- Day 5: Jury told accused teens fought on night man died
- Day 6: Murder accused's DNA found at victim's home, court told
- Day 7: 'Substantial' force caused Maryborough victim's injuries, court told
While it was difficult to quantify force, Dr Iles said a force greater than "mild" had caused these injuries, and the tongue injuries would have required significant force.
The jury heard this opinion took into account Mr Bourke's diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta, or 'brittle bone disease'.
The court was told of numerous bruises on Mr Bourke's face and body, including his arms, back, chest and stomach.
Dr Iles said many of these appeared recent, but it was difficult to age bruising.
She gave evidence that Mr Bourke sustained a minimum of 14 blows to cause the injuries he had, including three to the head.
Defence counsel for one of the accused asked Dr Iles if Mr Bourke could have survived if not for his pre-existing conditions, which the court heard included osteoporosis, diabetes and cerebrovascular disease.
"I can't exclude that possibility," she said.
The court heard people with OI were more vulnerable to bleeding under the skull, and this could result from less force than it would in a person without OI.
Such an injury could occur when someone fell and hit their head without breaking their fall, Dr Iles said.
The court heard OI could make a person's skin more fragile and easier to tear, and bruise more easily than the skin of someone without the condition.
Dr Iles said it was fair to characterise Mr Bourke's OI as severe.
Witness statements were read also read to the court.
One witness, who was at a house party with the accused on the night of Mr Bourke's death, wrote that they had spoken to the pair but neither said they had assaulted anyone.
The trial continues.
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