Jarrow man Simon Bowman suffered 30 injuries to his head and neck - jury told in trial of Washington man Christopher Graham

A grandfather's finger and toe tips were found "scattered" on the floor near his mutilated body in his blood-soaked living room, murder jurors have heard.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:44 pm
Simon Bowman

Home Office pathologist Dr Jennifer Bolton visited the flat where Simon Bowman's body was discovered in May and has described the shocking scene to jurors.

The doctor has also outlined a gruesome catalogue of injuries suffered by the 54-year-old, including 30 to his head and neck, caused by more than one weapon.

Christopher Graham, 30, of Washington, is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of the murder, which he denies.

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Police and forensic officers at murder scene in High Street, Jarrow.

The court has heard Mr Bowman was found dead in his flat in High Street, Jarrow, with extensive head and chest injuries, deep stab wounds and some of his digits removed.

Jurors have heard the injuries were inflicted both before and after Mr Bowman died.

Dr Bolton told the court she visited the flat when Mr Bowman's body was still inside and added: "The scene was a one bedroom flat and the major part of it was the living room.

"There was a sofa against the wall and Mr Bowman was lying on his back on the sofa.

"He was partly lying on some cushions as well and his head was wedged behind one of the big cushions from the sofa itself.

"Even just looking at it from a distance away, he had very obvious head injuries and very obvious injuries to his face, such that there was a lot of blood around his face.

"We could also see injuries to his arms and his legs, where they weren't covered with clothes.

"He was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts and you could see damage to his neck, above his T-shirt.

"It was clear that the tips of some or all of his fingers and toes had been removed and they were scattered on the floor, in front of the sofa.

"There was heavy blood staining on the wall behind where his head was and then there was a little on the ceiling, a little on the adjacent wall and a little on the opposite wall."

Dr Bolton said she carried out an examination of Mr Bowman's body at the mortuary and added: "I contributed Mr Bowman's death to head and chest injuries."

The doctor told jurors the injuries to Mr Bowman's face and neck were extensive.

She said: "In essence, the upper part of his face was no longer its normal profile.

"The area around his eyes and his nose had basically been damaged to such an extent it had collapsed into his head.

"There was the forehead, a big dent or hollow where the middle of his face should be, then his chin was in about the right place."

Dr Bolton said "some teeth" were present in Mr Bowman's "heavily damaged" jaws and fragments of bone and brain tissue were stuck to his forehead.

One of his eyes were sunken into the tissues of his face and fragments of bone had lodged into his brain.

Dr Bolton said Mr Bowman's skull was fragmented in places and the underlying structures of his face had to be reconstructed during her examination.

The pathologist said 26 of the injuries to the face and head were caused through blunt force, which could have involved a weapon such as a hammer.

She told jurors her finding "suggest there has been at least 26 blows to the head".

Four of the injuries were incised wounds, including the gaping injury to his neck and were likely to be caused by something sharp, such as a knife, after his death.

Dr Bolton said: "Those injuries look like the body has not responded to them, there is no vital response, so those injuries have occurred after death, at such a time after death that has body has stopped mounting a response."

The doctor said the injuries inflicted after death could have been minutes or hours after Mr Bowman stopped breathing.

Jurors have heard Graham had moved into Mr Bowman's flat and was living there of the time of the attack.

The court has heard Graham admits he was solely responsible for Mr Bowman's injuries but maintains his actions were lawful.

The trial continues.