Murder victim suffered skull fracture, chop to the head and 25 stab wounds, court hears

ireland
Murder Victim Suffered Skull Fracture, Chop To The Head And 25 Stab Wounds, Court Hears Murder Victim Suffered Skull Fracture, Chop To The Head And 25 Stab Wounds, Court Hears
Helen Jones (53) is accused of murdering her brother, Paul (pictured) at his home in the Lough on the southside of Cork city in September 2019.
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Olivia Kelleher

A man in his fifties who died of a chop wound to the head and 25 stab wounds to the body had also suffered a skull fracture and a bleed on the brain which was potentially fatal in itself, a murder trial in Cork has heard.

Helen Jones (53) is accused of murdering her brother Paul at his home in the Lough, on the southside of Cork city, in September 2019.

Ms Jones, of 27 Cahergal Avenue in Mayfield, Cork, appeared before the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Cork, having entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of murdering Paul Jones, on September 4th, 2019 at 108 Bandon Road, The Lough in the city.

Her co-accused, 43-year-old Keith O'Hara, who also previously lived in Cahergal Avenue, pleaded not guilty to the same charge of murdering Paul Jones.

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Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan carried out a postmortem on Paul Jones, who was in his fifties and living alone in Bandon Road at the time of his death.

His body was found in the hallway of the house three days after his death by his son who had become concerned for his welfare having not heard from him.

Dr Mulligan noted a chop wound to the head and a scalp injury. She said Mr Jones received 25 stab wounds to his neck, upper arms, abdomen, chest, right armpit and back. The stab wounds ranged in size from 2-4 centimetres to 12 centimetres. Seven of the stab wounds were 10 centimetres or more in depth.

Mr Jones also had abrasions to his body, bruising, incised wounds and extensive bruising under the skin of the skull. His right lung had collapsed and there was damage to the right kidney.

Dr Mulligan said blood loss would have been extreme and the bleed to the brain was, in itself, potentially fatal. She told the court Mr Jones also had defence type injuries to the hand.

Machete

Dr Mulligan was shown a machete which was recovered in the garden of a house in McCurtain Villas, not far from the property of the deceased.

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Dr Mulligan said it was the type of implement that could have been used to create the chop wound to the head of the victim. However, she said the stab wounds most likely originated from a knife "with a single sharp edge."

Dr Mulligan stated the cause of death was a "chop wound to the head and multiple stab wounds," adding the severity of the traumatic injuries were enough to cause death.

Earlier this week, the jury heard an outline of the State's case from prosecuting Senior Counsel, Siobhan Lankford. She said the State's case will be that there was a row between the two accused and the deceased in relation to the ownership of the Jones' family home at 27 Cahergal Avenue in Cork city.

She said the State will argue Ms Jones had a dispute with Paul Jones and her other brother, Liam about ownership of the house.

The property had been left in their father's will to Liam and Paul with the provision that Ms Jones be allowed live there until she got married.

Ms Lankford said that in 2018, Liam and Paul took a case against Ms Jones to evict her. The case was compromised on the basis that Helen vacate the property. A certain amount of money was to be given to her from the sale of the house.

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However, Ms Lankford alleges there was "ongoing acrimony" which gave Ms Jones and her partner at the time, Keith O'Hara, a motive for the murder.

She said it is the State's case that the two co-accused got a taxi on the evening of September 4th, 2019 to Bandon Road in Cork where Paul Jones was living and that there was an altercation.

Miss Lankford said that Paul Jones was found dead on September 7th, 2019 when his son became concerned for his welfare having not heard from him. Paul Jones was found dead in the hallway of the house.

The case will continue at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Cork, on Monday. It is expected to last up to a month.

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