MURDER TRIAL: Dad killed by ‘15cm-deep stab wound to heart’

A pathologist has told a murder trial how a Derbyshire dad died from a 15cm-deep stab wound to his heart.

Monday, 17th February 2014, 12:25 pm
Daniel Baker. Submitted picture.

Professor Guy Rutty was today giving evidence at the trial of Leon Lockhart, who is accused of murdering 32-year-old Daniel Baker in South Normanton last summer.

Lockhart, 32, of Carter Lane East, South Normanton, denies the charge.

During the hearing at Nottingham Crown Court, Home Office pathologist Professor Rutty was handed a blade believed to be similar to the alleged murder weapon, which has never been found.

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He said the knife cut through Mr Baker’s heart and left lung. He also suffered a cut to his right arm.

Professor Rutty told the court he believed “moderate to severe” force was used during the killing.

Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said: “Are you able to say who was holding the knife?”

Professor Rutty replied: “I was of the opinion that another person was holding it.”

Shaun Smith QC, defending, suggested Professor Rutty could not say exactly what had happened as he was not there.

Professor Rutty responded: “That’s correct, sir.”

Last week, the jury of six men and six women heard how Lockhart and Mr Baker knew each other from time they spent in prison together.

Mr Joyce said Lockhart and his then-girlfriend Michaela Griffiths bumped into Mr Baker “by chance” on a bus the day before his death.

The three spent the day together and Mr Baker slept on the pair’s settee.

The following day, Friday, July 19, a couple saw Lockhart, Griffiths and Mr Baker at about 11pm.

About 20 minutes later, the same couple saw Lockhart and Griffiths on their own before finding Mr Baker, of Derby, slumped on the pavement of Carter Lane West with a weak pulse.

They tried to resuscitate him as he lay dying on the street but he was declared dead on arrival at King’s Mill Hospital.

The trial continues.

Keep checking back for updates.