Alistair MacDonald QC leading Jeremy Barton secured a conviction for murder at Leeds Crown Court. There were no eye witnesses to the fatal assault which caused subdural and subarachnoid haemorrhages, axonal damage, contusions of the white matter of the brain, bilateral fractures of the hyoid, a broken neck and multiple stamping injuries.
The trial, lasting eight days, turned on evidence from three experts covering blood distribution on the clothing of the defendant, blood spatter, pathology and shoe impressions. The defence case was that the deceased had either fallen down stairs or that the injuries were caused by another person.
The deceased and the defendant lived in a house in multiple occupation and there was CCTV evidence of the movements of other occupants, which was equivocal in relation to one of the other housemates. By the use of expert evidence and a painstaking analysis of the CCTV evidence, the defence case was discredited.
The defendant was convicted unanimously and received a life sentence with a minimum term of sixteen years.