'Pneumonia killed man left in a coma'
TRAGEDY: Victim died two years after shooting in street, murder trial is told
A MURDER trial has heard evidence from a pathologist that a man left in a coma after a street attack died from pneumonia.
Jonathan Dunne (26), of Windmill Park, Crumlin in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ian Kenny at Lakelands Road, Stillorgan on July 31, 2009.
Mr Kenny died two years after the incident which happened outside a row of shops in broad daylight on July 4, 2007.
The jury heard Dunne is serving a 12-year sentence for the attempted murder of his friend, who has since died, and is now on trial at the Central Criminal Court for his murder.
Deputy State pathologist Dr Michael Curtis told the court the cause of death was broncho- pneumonia, persistent vegetative state, brain injury due to gunshot wound with contributing factor -- shotgun wound to the upper arm, July 4, 2007.
He told Denis Vaughan-Buckley, prosecuting, that people in a prolonged coma are at risk of developing pneumonia but can be kept alive by medical staff. But he said they eventually succumb to infections -- usually pneumonia.
Dr Curtis said on internal examination there was evidence of widespread bronchopneumonia in both lungs. He concluded the deceased had sustained a shotgun wound to the head and arm and as a result of being in a persistent vegetative state developed bronchopneumonia.
Dr Curtis agreed under cross-examination by Brendan Grehan, defending, that if treatment was withheld a particular infection may result in the patient's demise.
He also agreed Mr Kenny bucked the odds because a shotgun pellet did not sever an artery in his brain which would have caused him to bleed to death but instead caused a stroke.
Dr Curtis also agreed with Mr Grehan that stroke was not the cause of him being sent into a locked-in syndrome or persistent vegetative state-- the cause of that was an injury to the brain stem itself.
A consultant of emergency medicine at St Vincent's Hospital, John Ryan, told the court Mr Kenny was treated by the trauma team for gunshot wounds to the head and arm.
He told Mr Vaughan-Buckley his pulse was normal but he was comatosed with a Glasgow Coma Scale rating of 6 out of 15. Mr Ryan said there was profuse bleeding from his head wound and a CT scan showed extensive injury to the right side of the brain. The trial continues.