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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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‘Massive blood loss’ killed former Barrow man

FORMER Barrow man Luke Hollingsworth’s killer would have had to use “considerable force” when delivering the fatal stab wounds, according to the pathologist who examined his injuries.

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Luke Hollingsworth

It was also revealed that injuries to Jamie Armstrong’s hands could have been either self-inflicted or received while he was trying to defend himself, a murder trial has heard.

Pub worker Mr Hollingsworth, 23, was discovered dead in his home in Etterby Lea Road, Stanwix, Carlisle, on July 10 last year after suffering multiple stab wounds.

Armstrong is accused of murdering Mr Hollingsworth, who was born in Barrow.

The defendant denies the charge.

Dr Alison Armour was giving evidence at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday as the murder trial entered its second week.

She said that “multiple stab wounds” were the cause of death and some of the injuries were so serious that they alone would have been enough to end his life.

She outlined a range of wounds to his head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs and arms and said some had damaged the bone.

She said: “If a knife causes damage to the bone it requires considerable force to inflict.”

Dr Armour said that one of the chest wounds was 16cm deep and it had punctured the right lung, causing it to collapse.

She added that another, in the abdominal cavity, had severed both the vein and artery of his left kidney, producing catastrophic bleeding.

She said: “If you are not near a hospital you are going to die from this massive blood loss.”

Dr Armour said that some of the wounds on Mr Hollingsworth’s arms were defence-type injuries which would not have caused his death.

However, she added: “They were all inflicted in life and they would have caused pain and suffering.”

When asked about Armstrong’s injuries to both hands – which included a deep cut to the left palm – Dr Armour said that they could have been self-inflicted.

She told the court the areas injured were all easily accessible.

However, she added: “They are typical of defence-type injuries. The deep wound to the palm of the left hand in my view would be consistent with someone trying to grab the blad of a knife.”

When he was interviewed by police, Armstrong claimed to be suffering from memory loss over what had happened, caused by a combination of smoking cannabis and blood loss.

However, expert witness Professor Charles Deakin, who works with patients who have suffered blood loss in Hampshire, said his blood pressure readings and pulse rate did not back this up.

Professor Deakin told the court: “The blood pressure was certainly elevated and higher than what would be considered normal.

“It was perhaps slightly higher than normal blood pressure which might be the result of an adrenaline-fuelled struggle.”

The trial continues. It is expected to last a total of four weeks.

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