A FORENSIC pathologist has told a jury that the fatal liver damage suffered by a 24-year-old Birkby woman was the sort of injury normally seen in road accidents.
Prof Helen Whitwell told a murder trial at Bradford Crown yesterday that the torn liver and the 15 fractured ribs suffered by Anna Backhouse would have needed extremely severe force to cause them.
Prof Whitwell went on to suggest that the injuries were consistent with someone being stamped or jumped on and she dismissed the possibility that they could have been caused by 19-stone Julian Joseph falling on to his girlfriend.
"This is an extremely severe injury with a significant amount of force," she said.
"It is the sort of injury one usually sees in the context of a road traffic accident rather than in other situations. It implies a significant blunt trauma to the front of the body."
Joseph has denied the murder of his girlfriend.
His barrister Alistair MacDonald QC asked Prof Whitwell whether his client could have caused such an injury to the liver by landing on Miss Backhouse.
"I think if an individual is 19-stone they would have to go down extremely forcefully and heavily and not just sit on somebody," she replied.
When she was further questioned about that possible scenario by prosecutor Simon Bourne-Arton, QC Prof Whitwell added: "I'm not happy with that as a realistic possibility.
"The liver injuries are extremely severe. You would need significant impact with significant force behind it."
Joseph, 27, of Spinkfield Road, Birkby, has denied murdering his girlfriend in their bedroom at the home they shared with his mother Magdalene Thomas.
Miss Backhouse, who worked in an amusement arcade, was pronounced dead at the scene last May and was later found to have suffered 83 separate external injuries.
Prof Whitwell outlined the various cuts, bruises and abrasions caused to the deceased's head and body and concluded that the injuries to her liver, neck and head could all have resulted in Miss Backhouse's death.
The jury also heard evidence yesterday from Mrs Thomas about the phone call she received at about 7am that morning from her son.
A tearful Mrs Thomas told the jury how she had been working as an auxiliary nurse at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary when her son rang and asked her to come home because Anna wasn't moving.
She described how she went into the bedroom and saw her son sitting on the edge of the bed with Miss Backhouse sitting on the floor.
Mrs Thomas said she was making gurgling noises and her eyes were partially closed.
"Did you try to do anything for her?" asked Mr Bourne-Arton.
"I tried to resuscitate her and ask her what was wrong," said Mrs Thomas.
She said she got no response. Her son looked as if he was in shock.
The trial continues.