Mansfield murder victim ‘died from severe force’

Ladybrook Place, where Emiel Blankert lived with Michelle Swift
Ladybrook Place, where Emiel Blankert lived with Michelle Swift

The pathologist who examined Mansfield murder victim Emiel Blankert found an extensive list of injuries that he had suffered before he died.

Dr Stuart Hamilton, forensic pathologist for the East Midlands, took to the stand at Nottingham Crown Court today, Thursday 19th June, to give evidence in the trial of Michelle Swift (48) who is accused of murdering her partner, Mr Blankert (48), in December of last year.

Mr Blankert suffered a perforated bowel after what the crown has described as a ‘sustained attack’ which they claim happened at the couple’s flat on Ladybrook Place.

Mr Blankert was admitted to King’s Mill Hospital on 9th December but died days later from his bowel injury.

Dr Hamilton recorded that Mr Blankert had numerous injuries, including ‘considerable’ bruising to his face, two black eyes, bruising to his jaw, bruising to his chest, a fresh fracture to a rib and bruising on the back of his leg.

A known drug addict and alcoholic, Mr Blankert also had cirrhosis of his liver, although there were also lacerations to his liver caused what he described as ‘blunt trauma’.

Dr Hamilton also said that one particular bruise on his chest showed signs of a pattern that he believes may have been caused by, but could not confirm, the sole of a shoe - a sign that Mr Blankert may have been stamped on.

Dr Hamilton said: “You can often see a pattern in a bruise that is represented by the object that caused it.

“It’s quite typical to what you would expect to see from a shoe. Unfortunately, I see this regularly, I see it in a lot of people who receive injuries from footwear.”

But Dr Hamilton said it was it was internal bleeding into his abdominal cavity that primarily led to his death, that stemmed from ‘severe force’ to his midriff.

“In my opinion, there were eight or more blows to Mr Blankert, a sustained assault in the form of punches, kicks and stamps.”

In recent days the court was told how Mr Blankert, a Dutch national, and Miss Swift had been through a stormy 17-year relationship ‘manifested in violence’.

With both addicted to heroin and alcohol, the crown claims arguments would often result in serious physical attacks.

They say in the earlier years Mr Blankert would be the dominant physical force, but as his health declined due to his use of drugs and drink, Miss Swift became the more violent of the two, culminating in the attack that led to his death.

Miss Swift denies inflicting those injuries.

The trial continues.