Michael Yearwood died from blunt head trauma.
That was the evidence given by consultant pathologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Dr David Gaskin, who conducted a post mortem on Yearwood’s body on April 2, 2015.
Dr Gaskin was testifying in the murder trial of Raheim Ricardo O’Neil Hinds, which got underway in the No. 5A Supreme Court this morning before Justice Christopher Birch.
Hinds, of Phillip’s Road, Pinelands, St Michael, today pleaded not guilty to murdering Yearwood on March 26, 2015. He is alleged to have struck Yearwood with a stone on March 11, 2015, which eventually caused his death.
He was initially charged with serious bodily harm but that charge was upgraded to murder after Yearwood passed away.
Dr Gaskin said while the post mortem revealed that Yearwood’s tissues and organs were relatively well preserved, externally significant injuries were observed included an eight cm diameter area of swelling to the right parietal scalp and on removal of the scalp there was a linear fracture to the parietal skull in the area of the swelling.
He said when the brain was removed it “was extremely soft” and there was “blurring of the grey and white interface.”
Dr Gaskin said while there was no evidence of haemorrhage or a tumour, there was thrombosis of the superior sagittal sinus and thrombosis on the base of the skull.
“Based on these findings I concluded that death in this case was due to blunt head trauma,” he told the court. This he explained, usually occurred when somebody suffers an impact to the head with a blunt object with severe force.
Dr Gaskin agreed with Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale that such an injury could be caused by a stone.
He revealed that the now deceased man had sought medical attention at the QEH on March 13 and was subsequently discharged after showing signs of improvement.
However, on March 21, he was found unresponsive.
Dr Gaskin said the victim suffered two heart attacks while being transported.
When questioned by Seale, Dr Gaskin said it was possible for a person to sustain such an injury and die two weeks later.
“What would have happened in this case is that he suffered an injury, there appears to be initial resolution of the injury, but what could have happened in a case like this and a likely scenario is that there was damage to the lining of the sinus, and that damage can cause activation of the clotting system and once that system is activated you get a clot being formed and that clot spreads until it fills the entire vascular system,” he pointed out.
Dr Gaskin said once that obstruction occurs the inflow of blood to the brain is compromised, resulting in irreversible damage to brain tissues.
Under cross-examination from defense counsel Arthur Holder, Dr Gaskin maintained that the injury which Yearwood suffered to his head was the most likely cause of thrombosis.
He however, admitted that the thrombosis had not initially been resolved and had reached a critical point by the time the man was re-admitted.