Former Norwich bus conductor might have been tortured before he died, court told
PUBLISHED: 11:36 15 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:37 15 January 2013
A former Norwich bus conductor died from a “significant head injury” and also showed signs that he might have been tortured in an attempt to extract information from him before he died, according to Home Office pathologist Nat Cary.
The body of 67-year-old Barry Reeve, known as Titch or Schweppes to his friends, was found by officers who were called to the property on Corton Road, off City Road, Norwich on February 26.
The prosecution say that the former Eastern Counties buses worker could have been there for as long as two weeks after being attacked and tortured in his own home before being left to die.
Kelly Louise Barnes, 32, and Jodie Barnes, formerly Ramsbottom, 31, both from Bixley Close and civil partners, have both denied his murder.
Giving evidence at Norwich Crown Court today, Dr Cary told a jury that Mr Reeve, who was only just over five foot tall, had a number of cuts and bruises to his body including linea cuts which showed “controlled” infliction of wounds.
He had cuts to his face, abdomen, hands and wrists, with some of them running in parallel which gave rise to the possibility he had been tortured.
Dr Cary said: “When you see these kinds of controlled injuries it makes you think of attempts to extract information from someone. It is a pattern I have seen on previous occasions.”
He said there were also bruises on Mr Reeve’s arms some of which were “gripping type” injuries. and said that some of the cuts to Mr Reeve’s hands could have been defensive injuries.
He also had bruising to his face which could have been caused by punches .
However he said the cause of death was a blunt injury he received causing a fracture to the base of the skull which caused injury and bleeding to his brain.
He said that the injury would have been caused by severe impact by a forceful blow from a weapon or kicking or stamping and said that death would have occurred about 24 hours after receiving such an injury.
He said that he would have just about survived the injury but would not have been conscious or be able to speak; “He would have become unconscious and remained so until death.”
Karim Khalil, prosecuting, also read a statement of comments made by Kelly Barnes on her arrest for the murder of Mr Reeve.
Among the comments she told police that her arrest must be a joke and said: “I have not done anything wrong. I would not murder a soul.”
The trial continues.