A DOCTOR told jurors he was ‘not certain’ that two punches led to the death of a father-of-two from South Yorkshire.
James Walker, aged 27, is accused of killing 55-year-old Alan Cartwright by hitting him during a row over drugs.
Alan was found by his daughter dead on the living room floor of his house on Darton Lane, Mapplewell, Barnsley, the next day.
Pathologist Dr Peter Cooper told Sheffield Crown Court he carried out a post-mortem examination on Alan’s body on behalf of Walker’s defence team.
He said he found scrape marks on Alan’s head and face, as well as bruising.
“Because there were no broken bones and the bruises were relatively small, that would imply the punches were not particularly forceful,” Mr Cooper said.
Graham Hyland QC, defending Walker, said there were alleged sightings of Alan on the day he was found dead.
“We’re getting up into an unusual time period,” Mr Cooper said.
“It does create a longer gap where other things might have happened.”
The pathologist added: “It’s not possible to be in any way accurate about the time of death.
“I think it’s been trauma of some sort but I’m not certain what that trauma was.
“We know the incident took place, whereas any other incident was unwitnessed.”
Alan – a well-known local drug dealer who took prescribed blood-thinning medication – suffered a brain haemorrhage which led to his death last April.
Neuropathologist Prof Timothy Dawson told the jury that Alan’s medication would have caused him to bleed ‘more persistently’.
Walker, of Windsor Avenue, Kexbrough, denies manslaughter but admits assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The trial continues.