Court hears how Royal Preston Hospital doctors battled to try and save life of Garstang dad who had his head stamped on in Blackpool assault

A jury has heard how doctors at Royal Preston Hospital battled to save the life of a Garstang dad who had had his head stamped on.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 2:10 pm

Matthew Pearson, 42, originally from Garstang, died at the Royal Preston Hospital on Sunday, August 2 following an assault on Lytham Road in Blackpool, close to the junction with Bournemouth Road at 6.45pm on Saturday, July 18 last year.

A post mortem examination found Mr Pearson, who lived in a flat on Lytham Road, died from blunt trauma head injuries.

Andrew Claydon, 44, also of Lytham Road, denies his murder but admits his manslaughter - a lesser offence in law - and is on trial before Preston Crown Court.

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Matthew Pearson, 42, originally from Garstang, died at the Royal Preston Hospital on Sunday, August 2

The victim's blood was recovered from his trainers.

Giving evidence at trial today, Dr Alison Armour, consultant pathologist at the Royal Preston Hospital, said Mr Pearson had sustained an extradural haemorrhage, which is bleeding underneath the skull cap but on top of the dura, which covers the brain.

She said: "In an attempt to save Mr Pearson's life, the surgeon did what's called a craniotomy. In other words, he incised the bone, moved the bone and moved the haemorrhage underneath the bone, and then replaced the bone with metal sutures and then replaced the skin of the skull. So that was an attempt to save Mr Pearson's life."

Dr Armour also explained to the jury what injuries Mr Pearson had suffered during the assault and the likely cause of them.

A jury at Preston Crown Court heard how doctors and surgeons at Royal Preston Hospital battled to save Mr Pearson's life following the assault

She concluded: "In my opinion Mr Pearson died following a violent assault as a direct result of head injuries he sustained during this assault. This is known as blunt head trauma, which should ascribed as the cause of death in this case.

"This man [Mr Pearson] sustained a basal skull fracture, which is a fracture to the base of the skull itself with bleeding onto the surface of the brain, known as extradural haemorrhage. These injuries were caused as a result of a violent assault, where this man was thrown with considerable force to the ground and was then stamped on the right side of his head.

"The skull fracture results from a side impact, which could have been caused if this man's head struck the ground following the stamp on the head, or indeed as a combination of both.

"Whatever the actual mechanism of the force transmitted to this man's head it caused the skull to fracture and the bleed on the brain, which led to rapid unconsciousness at the scene and when Mr Pearson regained consciousness and was able to walk unaided back to his flat. This period of time is known as the lucid period and is seen in cases of extradural haemorrhage.

"However, the haemorrhage eventually bleeds to such an extent that within the skull the deterioration then occurs, leading to unconsciousness and ultimately the death of this man despite neurosurgical intervention.

"Death was therefore directly due to the injury sustained during the assault on July 18 and in my opinion the degree of force required to sustain such a basal skull fracture is considerable.

"Following the primary head injury this man developed secondary changes within the brain, which included contusions or bruising, swelling, ischemic hypoxic change, which is a lack of oxygen supplying the neurons to the brain, traumatic brain injury, which was identified by my colleague Dr du Plessis, and infarction of the brain itself, which meant the brain was undergoing death.

"It is my opinion that this man sustained a very serious and severe head injury which was responsible for his death."

Yesterday Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, said the blow had fractured his skull and left him bleeding heavily.

Mr Pearson lay unconscious or around two and half minutes before a passer by attempted to help him and called an ambulance.

The court heard how Mr Claydon was heard at the time of the incident going towards Matthew Pearson and said "Watch this, f*** him".

Mr Cole added: "Having punched him he then in effect slammed him down onto the floor, and then followed that up with what is described as, and we say is clear from the footage, a forceful and violent stamp to the head of Matthew Pearson.

"It may well be as he was slammed to the floor he was unconscious very quickly but the stamp is, we submit, an important feature of this case."

Mr Pearson was eventually able to get up and go back to his flat, though bleeding was seen from his ear.

He was later treated for bleeding on his brain and a basal skull fracture.

Those injuries caused him to lose his life, which prosecutors say was a direct result of the attack

Mr Claydon was originally arrested on suspicion of wounding but rearrested for murder.


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