90 year old farmer did not die from injury impact, court hears

Credit: Gabija Gataveckaite

By Gabija Gataveckaite

The autopsy of the murdered 90 year old farmer showed that he did not die on impact from blasts to the head with a blunt object.

The trial also heard this afternoon that some of Paddy Lyons’  injuries were from a potential fall on his right side.

Mr Ross Outram (28) has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Paddy Lyons (90) at Loughleagh, Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford on a date sometime between February 23rd and 26th, 2017.

Giving evidence to the trial today, state pathologist Professor Jack Craig stated that Mr Lyons’ autopsy indicated survival for some time after the injuries were sustained.

Mr Craig explained that axonal injuries found in Mr Lyon’s brain showed that he did not die on impact from injury.

Under cross examination by John O’Kelly SC, prosecution, Mr Craig explained that Mr Lyons was alive for sometime between 30 minutes to several hours after sustaining injuries.

The trial heard that Mr Lyons’ autopsy showed that he had ‘ill health’ and had a fractured hip, osteoporosis,  lacerations to the skull and face, bruising on the scalp as well as fractures to his ribs among other injuries.

Potential fall

The pathologist explained that injuries to the right side of his body may be explained if Mr Lyons had a fall to the hard concrete ground.

In this case, injuries to the right side of his face, lower jaw, right ribs and the hip would be explained. He stated that it was ‘unusual’ for a hip fracture to be caused by a blow to that area.

Under cross examination by Michael O’Higgins SC, defence, Mr Craig added that the fall could have been a ‘spontaneous event’ or Mr Lyons may have been ‘pushed to the ground’.

“If he had fallen over for whatever reason, fractures of the hip are very common in elderly people,” he said.

Mr O’Higgins then told the judge that there is a ‘fork in the road’ as to whether Mr Lyon’s potential fall was a spontaneous event, or if he had been pushed to the ground.

After his fall, Mr Lyons would have not been able to bear weight on his right hip, and so would have crawled to his armchair, where his body was found.

“He could have crawled a short distance,” Mr Craig told the jury.

A ‘material that looked like ash’ was also found on Mr Lyons’ knees during his autopsy, which may have adhered to his legs after he fell.

“When he was initially assaulted, he was capable of movement, he fell and crawled to the chair, where he eventually died,” said Mr Craig.

Concussion

The jury later heard that Mr Lyons enduring a concussion from injury to his head is ‘purely speculative’.

Giving evidence to the jury earlier in the trial, assistant state pathologist Margot Bolster stated that Mr Lyons ‘almost certainly’ sustained a concussion after blows to the head.

However, Mr Craig told the jury that a concussion is found on someone who is alive, and not a pathological finding.

He added that “shock associated with injury is a very considerable factor in a fatal outcome”.

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