Medical expert says blow to head killed man in Gatton pub

A SENIOR specialist pathologist who has conducted more than 20,000 autopsies has told a jury about the fatal blow which killed Laurence Shane Black during a Gatton pub fight.

Christopher James Earl, 29, has pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to murdering Mr Black, 46, at the Imperial Hotel on October 28, 2011.

Dr Alex Olumbe, who has worked with Queensland Health for more than 12 years, told the court on Monday Mr Black died as a result of bleeding on the surface of his brain.

"I would describe it as a traumatic haemorrhage," he said.

"The haemorrhage was mainly concentrated at the base of the brain.

"It was in the area that attaches the brain to the spinal column."

Dr Olumbe said he determined the fatal bow came when Mr Black was struck in the jaw.

"The haemorrhage was caused by a sudden extension of the neck as well as the sudden rotational force of the neck," he said.

"There was a particular injury to the right-hand-side, near the angle of the jaw, which was the fatal one.

"I would describe the force of the fatal blow to be moderate to severe."

Dr Olumbe said the fatal injury was consistent with a punch or kick and went on to describe the number of other injuries he found on Mr Black's body during the autopsy.

"There were severe external injuries to the head, face, neck and chest areas," he said.

"I also found significant amount of injuries to other areas of the body consistent with blunt force trauma.

"Those injuries could have from punches, kicks or being stomped on.

"I also noticed significant bruising to the exterior of his hands, wrists and arms which is consistent with a person defending themselves from blows."

The jury is expected to begin their deliberations on Today.

Topics:  crime murder trial

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