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Gillman-Harris died of multiple blows to head

Mon 11 Apr 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

Ihaia Gillman-Harris Ihaia Gillman-Harris, the gay man who died hours after being beaten up in an Auckland motel unit, received an estimated six blows to the head causing multiple fractures, according to a witness in the High Court this morning. Forensic Pathologist Dr Paul Morrow has this morning been showing the jury injuries sustained by Gillman-Harris, relating to an alleged attack by two youths, Beauen Wallace-Loretz and Leonard Nattrass-Bergquist, on December 27, 2014. Morrow told the court that Gillman-Harris died of a cardiac arrest in the operating theatre where surgeons were trying to relieve pressure from bleeding associated with the fractures. He said the skull fractures would have required blows of "considerable force" to create and were unlikely to have been caused by punches. Morrow also guided the jury through multiple bruises on Gillman-Harris's body, arms and hands. He said damage to the knuckles might be consistent with a punch and that if so it would be of sufficient force to cause bruising on the person punched. A broken hand bone was definitely not caused by punching something or someone. Although there was some indication of heart damage, probably caused by the final cardiac arrest, Morrow was emphatic that the cause of death was "primarily blunt impact injuries to the head." Morrow said injuries on Gillman-Harris's body were consistent with being beaten with a long and rounded object such as a bar or similar object, but he could not rule out the cause in some cases being the result of contact with another rounded edge though this would not have been at item such as the base of a coffee table found in the room minus its top. Gillman-Harris had caffeine and tobacco products in his system but there was no evidence of alcohol or controlled drugs. The trial, before a jury of nine women and three men, is in its sixth day and the presentation of the crown case is drawing to a close.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 11th April 2016 - 11:59am

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