Court details of victim’s injuries

A WISBECH man would have suffered significant brain injury even if he had survived an attack at his flat last November, a pathologist told a murder trial jury this week. The court heard that a wooden carved table leg could have caused the fatal injuries

A WISBECH man would have suffered "significant brain injury" even if he had survived an attack at his flat last November, a pathologist told a murder trial jury this week.

The court heard that a wooden carved table leg could have caused the fatal injuries to Ben Wilson, Cambridge Crown Court was told.

Ben, 22, had suffered extensive fractures to both sides of his skull and had been hit at least twice. The jury at Cambridge Crown Court was also shown black lace-up shoes worn by Adrian Pettingale on the day of the attack.

Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Nat Carey said that kicking and stamping could also have caused the skull fractures. The Crown alleged that Neil Gowler hit Ben Wilson with a table and Pettingale kicked him.


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Adrian Pettingale, 43, of Prospect Place, Wisbech, and Neil Gowler, 26, of Golding Place, Wisbech, are both charged with murdering Ben Wilson, 22, in Wisbech last November at Gowler's home, in Golding Place.

Listing Ben's injuries, Dr Carey said he also suffered lacerations to the brain, two black eyes, a bruised lip, a bruised cheek, two nasal fractures, and fractures to the roof of both eye sockets. He had bled under the scalp and had undergone an operation to relieve pressure. He said the nasal fractures could have been caused by a separate kick or punch.

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The jury heard an interview given by Pettingale to police when he was arrested for attempted murder. Pettingale said he was an alcoholic and was drunk when he found Ben Wilson lying on the floor of the flat. He had comforted Ben and had called for an ambulance. He had not known Ben but was "a drinking buddy of Neil Gowler".

He said Gowler was "a bit of a bully when drunk" and they had recently had a fight.

Earlier in the day, the court was told blood was found on a chair, a sofa, a coffee table and a bin at the home of the Neil Gowler.

Various items of blood-stained clothing were removed from the flat in Golding Place by scenes of crime officers, along with bottles of vodka, a computer games console and computer games.

Witness Lisa Marie Fisher said Adrian Pettingale was known locally as "winger" because he "swings both ways". She said Pettingale took her to Neil Gowler's flat to help with a computer programme on November 10. She thought Gowler "a bit smug and thought himself God's gift to women". Three days later, she was contacted by Neil Gowler via her computer and she sent him amusing videos and pictures with names including "naked men cleaning car" and "naked ladies on a bike".

On November 16, she saw Pettingale in the Flowerpot pub, in Wisbech when he told her how he had found Ben Wilson injured. He told her "there was blood on his face, he had made gurgling noises, and he wiped the blood away with his sleeve jacket and called an ambulance".

She had heard that Pettingale told other people he was present when Neil Gowler hit Ben Wilson with a table leg.

The trial is in its third week.

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