Autopsy blames attack for death

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

A murder trial heard that the death of a Wigan man from a lung infection resulted from a head injury he suffered in an attack.

Eric Caddick, 61, died three and a half months after he was allegedly battered unconscious by his two flat mates.

The attack left him in a coma from which he never regained consciousness and he died in Wigan Infirmary on March 13 this year.

Geoffrey Cunliffe, 48, and Daniel Eckersall both deny his murder and are on trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Home Office pathologist Philip Lumb told the jury that while Mr Caddick was lying seriously ill, he examined photographs showing the 26 injuries and marks he had allegedly suffered in the attack on November 25 last year at the trio’s home in Withington Lane, Aspull.

After his death he examined his body and found the cause of death to be broncho-pneumonia due to a head injury.

As well as denying murder Eckersall, 32, also denies robbing the victim on March 26 2014 and March 21 2015. Also in the dock is Gavin Jones, 48, of Lancaster Road, Wigan, who denies the earlier robbery in which £50 was taken.

Prosecuting, Nicholas Johnson has alleged Eckersall bullied and assaulted the victim on occasions prior to the attack, which allegedly involved “forceful kicking or stamping.”

When interviewed Eckersall gave a statement saying Mr Caddick had put a knife under his chin and in fear he head-butted him and disarmed him. Mr Caddick then began ranting at Cunliffe and he saw Cunliffe punch him to the head three times.

In his interview Cunliffe said Mr Caddick was always falling over drunk. He claimed Mr Caddick had smashed him in the face with a tablet device and he defended himself with “a few slaps”. After he armed himself with a knife, Eckersall disarmed him and Mr Caddick sat down and was all right and he and Eckersall then went out. They returned and found him unconscious.

The defence case was due to start today.