Murdered man ‘suffered 52 injuries'
The horrific and brutal injuries meted out to a man paramedics initially thought had been shot in the head have been detailed at the trial of two Lithuanian men accused of the murderous attack.
Northern Ireland's Deputy State Pathologist Dr Alistair Bentley revealed that Shaun Fitzpatrick had 52 separate injuries, 36 of them alone to the head, face and neck of the supermarket manager (32).
A neighbour of Mr Fitzpatrick later wept as he told Dungannon Crown Court how he helped one of the alleged killers, Andrius Dunauskas, by raising the alarm by going for the police.
Dunauskas (26), from Lisnahull Road, Dungannon, and his co-accused Ramunas Balseris (26), from Altmore Drive in the town, blame each other for the “brutal and sustained assault” on Mr Fitzpatrick early in March 23, 2008.
His battered, bruised and beaten body was found in a alleyway off the Donaghmore Road.
Summarising his findings for trial judge Mr Justice Hart, Dr Bentley agreed Mr Fitzpatrick had 52 separate injuries and their “distribution and extent indicate that he was struck by fists, feet, or some other form of blunt object quite a number of times”.
The pathologist, who also reported that a large quantity of blood found in his mouth would have severely affected his ability to breathe, said it could also have “triggered a reflex cardiac arrest” in Mr Fitzpatrick.
Dr Bentley also revealed that the amount of alcohol in Mr Fitzpatrick's blood would have put him three times over the drink driving limit, and this would have affected his “judgment, balance and possibility of defending himself or to extract himself from a life-threatening situation”.
Later a neighbour of Mr Fitzpatrick, Dermot McKillion, wept as he told how he first saw the “motionless” body after being flagged down.
Mr McKillion said Dunauskas, his hands at times clasped shut as if praying, begged for help, telling him “friend is here, please help”.