Fam­ily mourns as mur­der de­tails re­vealed

Talk of the Town - - Front Page - ROB KNOWLES

IT was a som­bre time in the Port Al­fred re­gional court last Thursday when, once more, mur­der-ac­cused Tonny Donile ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Louis Muller, this time to hear the ac­count of state wit­ness Dr Stu­art Dwyer, the chief foren­sic med­i­cal of­fi­cer in Gra­ham­stown.

In his po­si­tion Dwyer ex­am­ined the body of mur­der vic­tim Noel Mad­docks on Au­gust 10 2016, the day of the mur­der, and drew con­clu­sions as to how the for­mer owner of IT Solutions Coastal died. Pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence of the crime scene and the vic­tim’s body dur­ing two post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tions were shared by the de­fence and the pros­e­cu­tion and used in ev­i­dence.

Un­like at other ap­pear­ances, the court­room was vir­tu­ally empty, with only Mad­docks’ fam­ily and close friends present, plus a few sup­port­ing Donile who had to en­dure Dwyer’s har­row­ing ac­count of the wounds in­flicted on Mad­docks on that fate­ful night.

First, pros­e­cu­tor Jo­han Carstens had Dwyer de­scribe the stab wounds on the de­ceased’s body – a to­tal of 47 stab wounds – although Dwyer stated that some of the wounds were so close that there may have been more that re­mained uniden­ti­fied. Some knife-wounds were deep enough to have pen­e­trated both lungs, dam­aged the liver and the spleen. One of the two stab wounds on the vic­tim’s neck had sev­ered the spinal cord. Ap­par­ently the tears in the skin in­di­cated that the knife used was not very sharp.

In to­tal at least seven deep pen­e­trat­ing wounds were iden­ti­fied, any one of which would have caused death.

Dwyer de­scribed how th­ese wounds had pen­e­trated Mad­docks’ body with such force they had left marks where the hilt of the knife had made con­tact with the skin.

“The lung pen­e­tra­tions were caused by ex­treme force,” said Dwyer.

There were wounds to the head, sides and front, that caused sub­du­ral haem­or­rhage (brain bleed) and bleed­ing was ob­served at the nose and ears and black eyes were all in­di­ca­tions that the vic­tim had been throt­tled. There were mul­ti­ple frac­tures to the chest area and in­di­ca­tions that the vic­tim had been kicked, and there was a com­pound frac­ture to the left leg (where the bone had bro­ken through the skin).

Through­out Dwyer’s ev­i­dence, Donile passed notes onto his de­fence ad­vo­cate, Mark Botha, work­ing un­der in­struc­tion of at­tor­ney Viwe Mqeke. When Carstens had com­pleted his ex­am­i­na­tion it was Botha’s turn to cross-ex­am­ine Dwyer, and cer­tain terms that had been used in the first post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion such a “lac­er­ated” as well as the non-med­i­cal term “cut” were brought into ques­tion.

Botha said that Donile in­sisted the blunt force trauma to the vic­tim’s face and head were not caused by the blood­ied brick found at the scene by the vic­tim’s head. Botha asked Dwyer if it were pos­si­ble the blunt force trauma to the head could have been caused by fists and not the brick and Dwyer con­ceded it was pos­si­ble.

How­ever, on the sub­ject of the com­pound frac­tures to the leg, Botha asked if it were pos­si­ble the in­jury was caused by rolling be­tween the benches when Donile and Mad­docks were grap­pling to­gether.

Dwyer said that, due to the ab­sence of blood on any of the benches in the pho­to­graphs it was un­likely to be the cause of the breaks.

“There would have been a lot of blood at the scene, and I do not see any ev­i­dence that the benches were the cause of the wounds,” said Dwyer. But he had to con­cede that, un­likely as it was, it was pos­si­ble the benches were the cause of the com­pound frac­ture.

Dwyer was fi­nally done with his ev­i­dence and mag­is­trate Muller held the case over un­til June 13 and also re­served June 14 and 15 if re­quired to fi­nalise the case. In the mean­time, Donile will re­main in cus­tody in Gra­ham­stown where he has been since Au­gust 2016.

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