(Q1 - 4) On March 8th 2017 Student Group 5 attended the Supreme Court case Awatere v The Queen in Courtroom 7 of the Sir Samuel Way Building. Being a criminal trial, the accused, Mr. Awatere, is being tried by a 13 man jury, abiding with s6 of the Juries Act 1927 (SA) on the charge of murder. Witness examination and cross-examination was conducted before presiding Justice David Lovell and the jury, consistent with s6(2) and s6A of the Juries Act 1927 (SA). This criminal trial will determine if Mr Awatere is guilty of intending to murder or grievously harm his former partner and victim, Ms J Ohide (hereinafter ‘the victim’) by strangulation. Official legal parties in the case are the accused: Mr T Awatere, represented by a defence barrister…show more content… Forensic pathologist Dr Heath, was examined regarding the medical science surrounding neck compression and subsequent unconsciousness. This examination was conducted to confirm strangulation can lead to alternate outcomes depending on circumstance. The examination allowed the jury to understand the effects of strangulation on the victim. P confirms with Dr Heath that manual strangulation prior to unconsciousness is often remedied by relieving the pressure to the neck. The witness expects consciousness to return if cardiac or respiratory arrest did not follow the unconscious state. Dr Heath confirms post mortem examinations show the victim had no contributing health conditions, and some unsuccessful attempts were made to resuscitate her – which could also cause reasonable doubt that Mr Awatere did not pertain intent to murder or grievously harm the victim, which would find him not-guilty of the charge. Additionally, Dr Heath used diagrams to demonstrate injured parts of the body, speaking directly to the jury about how strangulation may affect heart rate and blood pressure. Dr Heath also highlighted the lacking research regarding neck trauma due to the ethical restrictions impeding experiments, which could again cause reasonable doubt within the jury that Mr Awatere is guilty.
There was no mention of precedent or legislation during the examination of either doctor. This is probably due to the fact that each examination purely focussed