Tayside and Central Scotland

Dismembered woman stabbed after death, pathologist claims

Montrose death

A woman whose body was found dismembered and wrapped in bin bags was repeatedly stabbed after her death, a pathologist has suggested to a court.

Dr David Sadler said Kimberley Mackenzie, 37, had been hit on the head at least 11 times with a blunt object and stabbed about 40 times.

He said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Steven Jackson and Michelle Higgins deny murdering Ms Mackenzie in Montrose last year and cutting up her body.

Mr Sadler, who is based at Dundee University, was giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow.

'I do not agree'

The jury was told that in his report, Mr Sadler had said all the stabbing injuries were "in keeping with being inflicted after death".

But after seeing some post-mortem examination photographs in court he said he would now say "most" injuries, rather than "all".

Prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC said: "In evidence you have accepted that some of them were inflicted in life," and the pathologist replied: "Some of them could be. Some of the injuries have the possibility of being inflicted in life. Where it said 'all' in the report it should say 'most.'"

Image caption Kimberley MacKenzie's body was discovered in Montrose in October 2015

Dr Sadler said that Kimberley was dismembered and decapitated after she had died.

Last week pathologist Dr Marjorie Turner, based at Glasgow University, said that in her opinion all of the stab wounds were inflicted while Kimberley was alive.

The jury heard that Dr Sadler was instructed to carry out a post-mortem examination on behalf of the Crown and that Dr Turner was instructed by defence counsel.

Dr Turner told the jury: "I do not agree with the opinion of the Crown pathologist. I can think of no reasonable explanation to support that. In my opinion the stab wounds have happened in life."

Defence QC Donald Findlay, representing Jackson, asked Dr Sadler about the stab wounds, a large number of which were on Ms Mackenzie's breasts.

He said: "It is your opinion the majority of these stabbing injuries are after death," and he replied: "The majority of them appear to be in death."

Mr Jackson, 40, and Ms Higgins, 29, are accused of murdering Kimberley by repeatedly striking her on the head, neck and body with a hammer or similar instrument and striking her with a knife in Market Street, Montrose, on 27 October last year.

They are also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering her body using a saw, knives and a screwdriver and wrapping parts of her body in bin liners and bags and hiding them in bins in Market Street, Patons Lane, Chapel Street and William Phillips Drive, all in Montrose, between 27 October and 4 November 2015.

The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.

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