Organist’s injury ‘looked like a gunshot wound’

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One of the injuries suffered by a murdered Sheffield church organist had the appearance of a gunshot wound, a court heard.

Home Office pathologist Dr Charles Wilson told jurors at Sheffield Crown Court the injury was ‘very unusual’.

He said: “I was actually quite taken aback. I was very surprised by the injury. My first impression was that it looked like a gunshot wound rather than something caused by a baseball bat or a pick axe handle.

“I was thinking, ‘this looks like a bullet wound’ but clearly he hadn’t been shot. So the next thought process is ‘what has caused it?’.”

He was giving evidence in the trial of Ashley Foster, aged 22, who is accused of murdering Mr Greaves and denies the offence.

Jonathan Bowling, also 22, has admitted murder.

Dr Wilson said he concluded the injury was unlikely to have been caused by a pick axe handle and was probably caused by something ‘relatively sharp’ because Mr Greaves’ skull had fractured outwards, fragmenting into small pieces.

A blunt instrument would have caused the skull the fracture inwards, he added.

The court has previously heard Mr Greaves’ skull was fractured at three sites and he had extensive facial fractures.

Dr Wilson said: “It’s unusual to find this extent of fracturing from a few blows to the head.

He added: “I deal with many people have have been hit with blunt weapons. Usually they get a linear fracture. If a greater degree of force is used, the fractures radiate out like a spider’s web.

“From just one impact you don’t normally get that degree of facial impact. When you do see it, it’s from a very very heavy blow indeed.

“The other context is repeated blows, in which you would see that degree of damage.”

The prosecution say Foster and Bowling were both armed and both attacked Mr Greaves.

Foster claims he had nothing to do with the attack but was with Bowling at the time it was committed.

The jury also heard from crime scene surveyor Daniel Sharpe, of West Yorkshire Police.

Using a 3D laser scan of the crime scene and its surrounding area, he said Bowling and Foster - who were caught on CCTV walking 18 seconds behind Mr Greaves shortly before the killing - must have increased their speed by 38 per cent to catch up with the 68-year-old as he walked along Greengate Lane.

The trial continues. See @sheffieldstar #murdertrial for live updates from the court room.