ON TRIAL: Geoffrey Joseph Sleba is accused of killing a cyclist in a hit and run.
ON TRIAL: Geoffrey Joseph Sleba is accused of killing a cyclist in a hit and run. Jonno Colfs

Cyclist killed 'rapidly' due to 'massive' trauma

SEVERE blood loss and "massive" trauma caused the death of cyclist Dr Martin Pearson, who was struck and killed on Anzac Day 2014, a Warwick court has heard.

Forensic pathologist Charles Naylor said at Warwick District Court yesterday he believed Dr Pearson was hit by a vehicle and thrown to the side of the road, but not run over.

"I don't favour his having been run over by a wheel, I would have expected even more severe injuries and more surface injuries to the skin," he said.

Dr Naylor took to the stand to testify in the trial for Geoffrey Joseph Sleba, who has been accused of driving the truck that caused the fatal blow.

Mr Sleba, 47, pleaded not guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death before leavingthe scene.

The jury was read an autopsy report prepared by another forensic pathologist, who has since passed away.

Dr Naylor listed the cyclist's injuries.

They included a broken back bone, "massive" chest trauma, broken ribs, ruptured aorta, bleeding on the brain and severe damage to the liver and spleen.

"He found some of the breaks in the ribs were sharp and had penetrated the lungs, and as a result there was blood in both sides of the chest," Dr Naylor said.

Dr Naylor said the report concluded Dr Pearson died "fairly rapidly" of severe blood loss and injuries.

Parallel black marks were also observed on Dr Pearson's jersey and legs.

"That to me (looks like) some sliding contact but what the surface is, I really don't know, it could be the ground, a vehicle, the side of a tyre," Dr Naylor said.

A truck, van or car could cause the injuries, he said.

Defence lawyer Jeff Hunter QC said a police photographer was not present for the post mortem, which was usually the case with suspicious deaths.

The injuries overlaying the external injuries were not noted and the black material on Dr Pearson's shirt was not tested, Mr Hunter said.

"I would have expected a more comprehensive coverage of the surface of the deceased," Dr Naylor said.

"It's always a great thing to look at a case with the benefit of hindsight; sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong."


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