Victim found slumped in an armchair
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.