Victim suffered significant bleeding to brain, court hears
on 27/11/2012 18:42:39
Dr Khalid Jabbar was giving evidence in the trial of an internet and call shop owner charged with murdering a customer who had not paid for a 70-cent phone call.
Zhen Dong Zhao (aged 36), a Chinese man with an address at Jervis Street in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Finglas man Noel Fegan, but admits kicking him.
The 40-year-old, who lived on Aughrim Street, had gone into Mr Zhao's shop to phone his daughter after receiving a 'Call Me' text from her. He died soon after the incident on May 20, 2011 outside e-Times on Dublin's Wellington Quay.
Dr Jabbar today told the Central Criminal Court that he carried out the post-mortem examination on Mr Fegan's body the day after he died. He testified that he found evidence of blunt force trauma to the neck and head.
He said the skull was intact but he found a significant level of subarachnoid haemorrhage in the base of Mr Fegan's brain. He explained that this was bleeding below the arachnoid layer, which encases the brain.
"The entire subarachnoid space in the base of the brain was covered by a blood clot," he noted.
He said that one of the vertebral arteries in the neck was perforated with some bleeding there.
He ruled out a spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhage, instead finding that it was a traumatic haemorrhage, he said.
He then sent part of the brain to consultant neuropathologist Dr Michael Farrell at Beaumont Hospital for more tests.
Dr Farrell testified that he found no congenital explanation for the large amount of blood in the subarachnoid space. He also found no bruising on the surface of the brain, one of the most common causes of blood there.
He said that as well as blood in the subarachnoid space, he also found blood in the ventricular chambers in the brain.
"The only way blood could have got into those chambers was backwards," he explained. "It had to be arterial blood … under pressure."
He explained that the two vertebral arteries, housed in the bony part of the neck were prone to damage and that this was a common cause of stroke in young people.
He said such damage could be caused by activities including archery, jumping on trampolines, having neck adjustments at physiotherapists or chiropractors and throwing the neck back when knocking back shots.
Under cross examination by Brendan Grehan SC, defending, he confirmed that the vertebral arteries were vulnerable to injury.
"It doesn't have to be very forceful at all, unfortunately," he said.
Dr Jabbar continues his evidence tomorrow morning before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.