‘Steel yourselves’, murder jury told

September 27, 2017 | By More

Jury members were told “steel yourselves” as photograph booklets of Marcus Luke Tucker’s bashed and burnt body were handed out on the third day of the murder trial of Peter John Carroll.

Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said: “The images are distressing. We have tended to reduce them to a minimum needed so the pathologist can explain his evidence properly.”

Justice Nicholas Davidson told the jury as the booklets were handed out, “You have to steel yourselves to do it. I ask you to rise above that.”

Carroll, 52, denies the charge of murdering 36-year-old Tucker on April 24, 2016, at a house in Addington. He admits the assault on Tucker but his defence team is urging a manslaughter verdict instead of murder.

The trial has been told that Carroll and Tucker were both members of the drug scene and Tucker had been passing off fake, photocopied $100 notes to unsuspecting dealers.

Professor Johan Duflou, a forensic pathologist, told of his findings from the autopsy he carried out two days after Tucker’s body was found with wrists and ankles tied, wrapped in carpet, in a drain near Lake Ellesmere. The body had been set alight.

The Crown case is that Tucker died from blunt force trauma, with an allegation that Carroll had assaulted him swinging a metal steering lock.

Professor Duflou said he found Tucker had broken nose bones, a fracture at the top of his eye socket, a broken shoulder blade, and several overlapping blunt force injuries to the back of his head which fractured his skull.

He had injuries to his lips and broken teeth. There was bleeding over the surface of the brain, and extensive charring from the fire.

A woman who gave evidence yesterday of being at the Addington house where the assault took place, and heard it happening, continued under cross-examination today by defence counsel Tim Fournier.

He told her Carroll would give evidence that she told him the person asleep on her bed was responsible for trying to cheat him in a drug deal with $1500 of copied $100 bills.

She denied that, and denied accompanying Carroll into the room where the assault took place.

She also denied the allegation that she had sat smoking on the doorstop with Carroll after the killing, while they discussed what to do, and she vehemently denied that she had helped to carry Tucker’s wrapped body out to the car.

Mr Fournier accused the woman, who has name suppression, of repeatedly telling lies and different stories to the police, but she said she was being truthful with her evidence.

He said as he finished his questioning and sat down: “The truth is what suits you at the time, isn’t it?”

There was a moment’s silence and then the woman said: “You’re mean.”

The trial is continuing.

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