Norfolk

Kerri McAuley death: Mother's face 'collapsed' from injuries

Kerri McAuley Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Kerri McAuley had 19 separate injuries to her head and face

A mother killed by her "on-off" partner received injuries which caused her face to "collapse" inwards, a court heard.

Joe Storey, 27, is accused of bludgeoning Kerri McAuley, 32, who was found dead at Southalls Way, Norwich on 8 January.

Pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift told Norwich Crown Court Ms McAuley sustained multiple facial lacerations and one of her ears was torn.

Storey, of Murrells Court, denies murder but admits manslaughter.

Dr Swift said some of the injuries were caused by "blunt force impact".

Image caption The body of the mother-of-two was found in a flat in Southalls Way on 8 January

"The front of her face had sunk or collapsed inward by 1cm [partly due to broken nose bones]," he said.

"A laceration to the left hand side of the mouth was consistent with a punch to the mouth."

Dr Swift said there was also blood in her lungs.

He told the court there was also evidence of compression to the neck, including bruising to the neck.

Her brain was examined and it was found to have been damaged through lack of oxygen and by force, while "there were no injuries to suggest Kerri had been striking out [in self defence]", said Dr Swift.

On Monday, senior investigating officer Det Sgt Jody Balme told the court that in a text message exchange Mr Storey continued to profess his love for Kerri and vowed never to hit her again.

Text exchange

In her texts Ms McAuley described Mr Storey's behaviour as "not normal". She wrote: "you are not ready to care for anyone but yourself".

"You were trying to kill me, you were suffocating me until I nearly passed out", adding that if he stays away "hopefully you won't go to prison for beating me to a pulp".

Later Mr Storey and Ms McAuley agreed to meet up again.

Earlier the court heard that Ms McAuley had suffered 19 separate injuries to her head and face.

Mr Storey was not in court because of ill health.

The court has adjourned for the day, and the defence is expected to start on Wednesday.

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