A facial injury suffered by a man who died after confronting and tackling a burglar was ‘consistent with a blow to the face’, a jury heard.
Forensic pathologist Dr Charles Walker told jurors at Sheffield Crown Court that Dean Armitage suffered a complex of fractures to the back of the head consistent with a fall, but also had two ‘soft tissues injuries’ to his face.
Haulage boss Dean, aged 49, was attacked outside his home in Skiers View Road, Hoyland, Barnsley, by David Matthew Sindall, who is on trial for his murder.
Sindall, aged 34, of Selbourne Street, Eastmoor, Rotherham, admits manslaughter but denies murder.
The prosecution say that, during a struggle between the two men, Sindall struck Dean on the head with a torch before both men fell and Dean banged his head.
They claim Sindall delivered ‘one or two’ additional blows as he lay on the ground.
Giving evidence for the prosecution, forensic pathologist Dr Walker said the skull fractures Dean had suffered at the back of his head were consistent with a fall.
He said an injury to Dean’s left temple could have been caused by a blow, but he couldn’t rule out it being the result of Dean’s head coming into contact with the surface of his Range Rover - parked on the drive - or the garden wall.
“All I can say is that it has been caused by some sort of impact on to the side of the head,” he said.
“That could have been Mr Armitage’s head striking an immobile surface, or it could be a mobile object striking his head. I can’t differentiate between the two on the pathology available to me.”
He was also asked about bruising on the right side of Dean’s jaw.
He said: “This is not an injury I would expect to see in the course of an accidental fall. It’s the type of injury I would expect to see in a blow directed at the lower face.”
The trial continues.