October 5th, 2016
A man whose charred body was found in a suitcase in a Sydney reserve endured a lingering death, a jury has been told.
Dr Rianie Van Vuuren said an autopsy could not determine the cause of Dane McNeill’s death but it was likely to have been a combination of stab wounds and the toxic effects of drugs.
Azam Charbaji, 26, and Haysem Charbaji, 24, have pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to the July 2014 murder of 20-year-old Mr McNeill, who the crown says was bashed, stabbed and force-fed Xanax tablets.
The younger brother’s then-girlfriend Lexy May Jamieson, 26, has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory.
The main reason for the absence of a firm conclusion as to the cause of Mr McNeill’s death was the “very extreme charring” of his body, said Dr Vuuren.
Mr McNeill had a number of stab wounds to his face and neck, as well as to his right buttock, and there were signs which suggested he had been tied up.
The autopsy findings “were indicative of a lingering death”, she added.
The trial is continuing.