Vic­tim found slumped in an arm­chair

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

A mu­si­cian who died from two knife wounds to the neck was slumped in his chair or sit­ting on the ground when he suf­fered one of the wounds, a scenes of crime ex­pert told the mur­der trial.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Shane Cur­ran of the bal­lis­tics sec­tion of the Garda Tech­ni­cal Bureau told pros­e­cut­ing coun­sel Paul Murray SC that he ex­am­ined the scene at Mr Kivle­han’s home where the body was found on the liv­ing room floor.

Around Mr Kivle­han’s body were cans and bot­tles of beer and cider, blis­ter pack­ets with the tablets re­moved and burnt tin-foil on a cof­fee ta­ble in­di­cat­ing some­one had been us­ing heroin. About two dozen coins from dif­fer­ent coun­tries were found in var­i­ous places around the room.

One arm of an arm­chair was bro­ken away.

The de­ceased’s t-shirt was heav­ily blood stained and his hands were across his ch­est with one hand sit­ting on top of a knife which was close to his neck. He said it did not ap­pear that the hand was grip­ping the knife but that it had been placed on top of it.

A quilt cov­ered the lower part of Mr Kivle­han’s body. When re­moved Det Sgt Cur­ran dis­cov­ered that Mr Kivle­han’s trousers were low­ered to be­yond his knees.

Blood spat­ter on a ra­di­a­tor be­side the arm­chair, he said, was con­sis­tent with blood pump­ing from an artery that has been opened by stab­bing.

The stain­ing came up the ra­di­a­tor to a level of 48cm and an anal­y­sis of the blood spat­ter pat­tern showed that the wound would have been at that height when it was in­flicted.

Det Sgt Cur­ran agreed with de­fence coun­sel Bren­dan Gre­han SC that the stain could have re­sulted from some­one be­ing slumped in the arm­chair or sit­ting on the floor.

He fur­ther agreed that the arm­chair had been moved af­ter the wound was in­flicted.

Dr Yvonne O’Dowd of Foren­sic Sci­ence Ire­land told Mr Murray that she found blood match­ing the de­ceased on the steak knife found on the body and on a longer bread knife found on a counter in the kitchen.

The late Martin Kivle­han.

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