Murder victim's 76 injuries indicated "sustained assault", court told

Mr Fretwell's flat in Laughton, where police investigated his death last year.Mr Fretwell's flat in Laughton, where police investigated his death last year.
Mr Fretwell's flat in Laughton, where police investigated his death last year.
A MAN who was killed in his flat had suffered with 76 different injuries which were consistent with “a sustained assault”, a court heard.

Steven Fretwell (47) was found dead in his flat on Kingswood Avenue, Laughton en le Morthen, by police around 4pm on Sunday, December 18, last year.

Brothers Nathan Fensome (28) and Ashley Fensome (21), both of Croft Mews, Barleycroft Lane, Dinnington, and their cousin Barry Plant (36), of Sandymount Road, Wath, are on trial for his murder, which they all deny.

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Giving evidence this morning at Sheffield Crown Court, forensic pathologist Ms Naomi Carter, said the injuries she had found on Mr Fretwell’s body the day after he was found included two which were considered older but more than 70 which were recent.

Mr Fretwell, who weighed just over eight stone and was 5ft 9ins in height, was also found with string tied around one of his wrists.

Ms Carter said: “He had sustained numerous injuries as a direct consequence of blunt force trauma, specifically multiple bruises, lacerations, abrasions of his head and face.

“There was fracturing of his facial skeleton, but not of his skull.”

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Mr Fretwell had also sustained several fractured ribs, a fractured right elbow and left shin, which had left the bone exposed.

Ms Carter said the multiple injuries were consistent with a “sustained physical assault involving multiple heavy blows from punches, kicks and possibly stamping and use of one or more types of blunt instrument" being used.

The instrument was likely to have been something similar to a crowbar, she added.

“He had, in my opinion, died of the effects of these multiple injuries which would have included blood loss, fractured ribs and breathing difficulties,” the pathologist said.

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Internal examination revealed Mr Fretwell had pre-existing emphysema and hardened arteries, conditions often caused by smoking, which would have made breathing more difficult.

Ms Carter said these had contributed to his death but were not the main cause.

The pathologist also identified two old injuries on Mr Fretwell’s head.

Mr Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, said Mr Fretwell had been involved in a “violent incident” two weeks prior to his death in which it was alleged he had been hit on the head.

The pathologist agreed these two injuries could have been caused during that incident.

The trial continues.

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