...By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
A woman who was allegedly murdered by her partner was discovered dead for approximately a day before being examined, according to a court hearing.
Adell Cowan was found unresponsive in her Caerphilly residence in October 2020 after her partner alerted emergency services, stating that he had awakened to find her lifeless.
The court learned that Miss Cowan, fully clothed and with facial injuries, had also suffered severe internal rectal injuries caused by a wooden broom handle.
The defendant, Carl Silcox, was subsequently charged with her murder, a charge he denies.
Pathologist Richard Jones from Cardiff University’s Wales Institute of Forensic Medicine provided detailed testimony at Cardiff Crown Court.
Dr. Jones attended the couple’s property in Mornington Meadows after the body was discovered on the morning of October 18.
He later conducted the post mortem examination.
Dr. Jones informed the jury that while it was not possible to determine the precise time of death as depicted in television programs, based on his on-scene examination of the body, factors such as body temperature and rigor mortis, as well as the subsequent post mortem, he was able to provide a “sensible estimate” that Miss Cowan had been deceased for approximately one day by the time he initially saw the body at 10:40 a.m.
The pathologist meticulously detailed the numerous bruises and abrasions discovered on Miss Cowan’s body.
These included bruises on her face, chest, belly, legs (including inner thighs), and arms.
Of particular concern were 11 bruises on her upper arm, which Dr. Jones stated could have resulted from gripping or restraining.
The court learned that Miss Cowan had multiple rib fractures on both the front and back of her chest, but there were no injuries or fractures to her spine, breastbone, collarbone, or skull.
Blood tests indicated an alcohol level in her system that was approximately three-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit.
Rectal Injury and Cause of Death
The pathologist also provided the jury with details of a tear in Miss Cowan’s rectal wall and associated bleeding in the pelvic cavity.
In response to questioning from the prosecution, Dr. Jones explained that such a rectal injury would have triggered a rapid inflammatory response from the body.
However, the absence of such a response indicated that the injury must have occurred either shortly before or after her death.
Dr. Jones stated that it was a “complex and difficult case” and that he could not identify a natural explanation for Miss Cowan’s death.
While he could not determine the definitive cause of death, he concluded that the death had occurred “in the setting of trauma” and alcohol consumption.
The prosecution argues that Silcox unlawfully killed Miss Cowan.
Defendant’s Statements and Trial Continuation
The trial previously heard that Silcox, aged 45, contacted the police shortly after midnight on October 18 from a phone booth, reporting that his partner was dead.
He was described as being distressed and tearful, and he declined the call handler’s request to return home and perform CPR, stating that she was already deceased.
Silcox was subsequently arrested and provided varying accounts to the police, claiming that Miss Cowan had either inflicted the injuries on herself, had been assaulted by a group of young individuals, or had sustained the injuries from a client who had hired her as a prostitute.
Silcox, residing on Commercial Street, Aberbargoed, denies the charges of murder and manslaughter.
The trial is ongoing.