TEENAGE drama student Amanda Duffy had pieces of wood forced into

parts of her body, a murder jury heard yesterday.

Miss Duffy, 19, died from head and neck injuries and inhaling her own

blood but pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, 37, told the High Court in

Glasgow that the girl's body had also been mutilated.

Twigs had been forced up her nostrils so violently that one had

fractured her skull, and branches were forced into her mouth and private


Miss Duffy had a catalogue of horrifying injuries, including a broken

nose, bruises and abrasions consistent with stamping, and her jaw was

broken in two places.

Questioned by Mr Donald Findlay, QC, defending, the pathologist agreed

that it was not normal to see people killed by having wood forced into

parts of their body. She said this was mutilation.

Dr Cassidy was giving evidence at the trial of Mr Francis Auld, 20, of

Douglas Crecent, Eddlewood, Hamilton. He denies that, on May 30, on

waste ground at the town's Miller Street car park, he assaulted Miss

Duffy, of Brackenhill Drive, Hamilton, and murdered her.

It is alleged that he knocked her down, punched and kicked her and

struck her with an unknown object, stamped on her face and neck,

compressed her neck, removed parts of her clothing, and forced pieces of

wood into various parts of her body.

Dr Cassidy told Mr John Morris, prosecuting, that she went to the

scene that night and saw the body lying half naked and with obvious

injuries to the face and neck.

She carried out the post-mortem examination at 1.30am the following

morning, and said the time of death would probably have been about 17

hours earlier.

Dr Cassidy said the girl was five feet four inches tall with long red

hair. Death had been due to head and neck injuries along with inhalation

of blood, and Miss Duffy showed signs of asphyxia.

The pathologist described a pattern of marks on Miss Duffy's neck,

which Dr Cassidy said could have been caused by a necklace she wore

being pressed or pulled against the skin.

There was little sign of defensive injuries, which suggested Miss

Duffy had put up little resistance, and the pathologist thought this

might have been because she was unconscious.

She said one twig had been forced up the girl's nostril with such

force that it broke through the skull and was embedded in the bone.

The branch thrust into her mouth had been forced out again, causing a

wound near her ear, and there were signs that two attempts had been made

to force the branch through the skin.

Dr Cassidy said a bite mark found on the girl's right nipple would, in

her opinion, have been painful and not a love bite. There were signs of

''brute force'' injuries to her head and body.

Cross-examined by Mr Findlay, Dr Cassidy agreed that Miss Duffy had

been drinking before she died.

The counsel asked Dr Cassidy if, at the post-mortem examination, she

found a pattern of injuries which showed extreme violence. Mr Findlay

went on: ''Ritualistic acts that may have a kind of sexual overtone?''

Dr Cassidy agreed.

Mr Findlay: ''If someone was intending to kill the girl, they could

have done it quite adequately without involving themselves in this type

of behaviour? To insert twigs is more a way of abusing and degrading her

in some way?''

Dr Cassidy: ''Yes. It's mutilation of the body.''

She also agreed that the extent of the injuries to Miss Duffy's face

reflected not so much a wish to kill as an attempt to obliterate the

victim's identity by obliterating her face. And that the use of twigs

and sticks had nothing to do with subduing the victim.

The trial before Lord Sutherland continues.