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Murdered man hit with claw hammer 20 times, court told

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 10/09/2016

Accused: Louis Maguire
Accused: Louis Maguire

A man murdered in Belfast was struck up to 20 times with a claw hammer, a court heard yesterday.

State pathologist Professor jack Crane told the jury at the city's crown court that Eamonn Ferguson's head injuries were so severe that his skull was fractured in several places and his brain was bruised.

The 35-year-old, from the north of the city, was beaten to death in his friend Louis Maguire's house in Ardoyne Place in March 2014.

Professor Jack Crane concluded that the victim died as a result of bruising and lacerations of the brain associated with fractures of the skull.

He also told the court that death "would probably have occurred within several minutes".

Two men are currently standing trial accused of murdering Mr Ferguson.

Louis Maguire (28), whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, and his 33-year old co-accused Christopher Power, of no fixed abode and who is originally from Co Offaly, have both denied any involvement in the killing.

However, it is the Crown's case that both Maguire and Power were present in the living room when Mr Ferguson was beaten to death with a claw hammer.

The murder weapon was later recovered from behind a chair in the same room.

Professor Crane said it was his estimation that Mr Ferguson was struck up to 20 times.

The victim's blood-soaked body was found in a kneeling position with his head resting on the sofa and the left side of the back of his head exposed.

The state pathologist told the jury of six women and six men that Mr Ferguson also suffered wounds to his shoulder and face that were consistent with being hit with a hammer.

Mr Ferguson also had bruising to his left hand, which may have been sustained in an effort to defend himself from being attacked, Professor Crane said.

The trial is due to resume on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph

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