MEDICAL experts are doubting whether grandfather Peter Harris was battered to death with a weapon, a jury has heard.
Sean Carrahar, 28, of Palmer Road, Sandbach, is appearing at Chester Crown Court. He denies the murder of 61-year-old Mr Harris, of Town-fields, Sandbach.
Mr Harris suffered massive head injuries and broken ribs when he was attacked behind the Iceland supermarket at some time between 11.30pm on Thursday, August 4, l and 5.15am on August 5 last year.
Forensic and neuro-pathologist Professor Helen Whitwell, who gave defence evidence on Monday, analysed the external injuries to Mr Harris's head and his internal injuries.
Ms Whitwell told the court that the injuries were consistent with falling to the ground and doubted whether his head injuries were inflicted with a weapon but said she could not rule out the use of a weapon altogether.
Andrew Robertson, defending, asked if the injuries could have been caused by being hit with a baseball bat.
Ms Whitwell said: 'The injuries are typical of when the head impacts against the ground or when people are punched and end up on the floor and the back of the head striking the ground. There is nothing to indicate the use of a weapon.
'If a weapon had been used I would expect to see either an outline of the shape of a weapon or lacerations.
'The internal head injuries to the front of the brain are consistent with the head falling and hitting the ground.'
Michael Chambers, prosecuting, asked Ms Whitwell whether she could completely exclude the use of a weapon in the attack all together and she replied she could not.
Mr Chambers questioned Ms Whitwell over the bruising to Mr Harris's ribs and said they were consistent with being kicked or stamped on.
Ms Whitwell said: 'Yes, they are consistent with being struck with an object but there is no pattern to indicate the cause of impact. They could have occurred at the same time as the head injury, they were recent.
'He may have fallen then been hit or struggled and fallen back on his head.'
The trial continues.