Pensioner's death 'may have been caused by blow to the mouth'

Frank Worsley with his wife, Mary

Frank Worsley with his wife, Mary

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

AN ALLEGED murder victim suffered a head injury consistent with a “reasonably heavy blow” to the mouth, a pathologist has told a court.

Daniel Crompton is on trial, accused of the murder of World War Two veteran Frank Worsley.

The 24-year-old admits burgling Mr Worsley’s home in Longfield Road, Daubhill, but denies murder.

Dr Charles Wilson, a Home Office pathologist, giving evidence at the trial at Manchester Crown Court yesterday, said Mr Worsley’s injury could have been caused due to a blow to the 87-year-old’s mouth.

Daniel Janner QC, defending Crompton, asked whether a head injury Mr Worsley suffered, a subdural haemorrhage, could have been caused by the pensioner hitting his head against a wall.

Dr Wilson said: “It’s theoretically possible but it’s certainly more likely explained by a blow to the mouth.

“If a head strikes a wall you tend to see a different style of injury.

“There was no evidence of any impact elsewhere in the scalp but that doesn’t entirely rule it out.

“In my opinion it’s far more consistent to a blow to the mouth.”

Mr Worsley also had a cut to his right upper lip.

Dr Wilson, a prosecution witness, said: “All I can say is Mr Worsley had a blow to the mouth.

“He has had a reasonably heavy blow to his mouth. If several blows landed in the same area that wouldn’t modify his injury very much.

"There is evidence of at least one heavy blow but that doesn’t exclude the account that there were several blows to the mouth.”

The court had previously heard Mr Worsley told emergency services he had been punched more than once in his face by an intruder at his home on August 3, last year.

Mr Worsley died in hospital on August 20, 17 days after the incident, after he suffered a massive stroke and his situation deteriorated.

Dr Wilson was questioned whether a person being struck with a hand wrapped in clothing would have an impact on the injuries caused.

Mr Worsley, before he died, said the burglar punched him after wrapping a T-shirt around his hand.

Dr Wilson said it is likely to cause “less damage to a localised surface”.

The trial continues.

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