WARNING: Graphic content.
The 18-year-old man stabbed during the fight at the Weston Creek skatepark died from rapid blood loss after receiving “multiple stab wounds to the chest”, a medical expert has told jurors.
Forensic pathologist Professor Johan Duflou took the stand on Tuesday (17 May) as part of the ACT Supreme Court jury trial against the teenager accused of murdering the 18-year-old when he was 15 years old.
Twelve people converged on the skatepark in three cars in the early hours of 27 September 2020. During the brawl that followed, a 16-year-old was stabbed in the back by the accused, who has admitted committing that particular attack.
The 18-year-old died at the scene. His autopsy was conducted by Professor Duflou, who told jurors the man received five stab wounds.
Two were superficial while another two were 12 cm deep, including a stab to the heart, which the professor said was the most significant wound.
He said he was not sure whether a sixth injury, on the back of the man’s hand, was an incised or stab wound, while the man also received “trivial” abrasions and bruises.
Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Christensen SC asked Professor Duflou if it was possible that the weapon used to stab the 16-year-old had also caused the injuries to the 18-year-old.
“Yes, it’s entirely possible,” he said, although he noted the difficulties in determining if this was the case.
He also said it was very hard to say what type of weapon was used to stab the 18-year-old, but it appeared to be at least 10 cm long and could be a typical kitchen knife.
Jurors have already heard a boy waved a machete during the fight to try to make the brawlers stop, while three adults who attended used a pickaxe, rake and shovel to smash the 18-year-old’s Toyota 86.
Professor Duflou said none of the 18-year-old’s injuries were caused by a pickaxe, rake, shovel or machete.
In cross-examination, barrister David Barrow asked if it was correct to say there was a difference between the manner that the wounds were inflicted on the two stab victims.
The professor said, in some ways, yes. The wounds on the 18-year-old were “relatively clean, straight-forward stab wounds”, while the wound on the 16-year-old’s back appeared to involve sideways movement.
The accused has pleaded not guilty to murder, but he did plead guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues before Chief Justice Lucy McCallum.