Court: Body too decomposed to determine cause of death

A FORENSIC pathologist has described the difficulty he had when determining the cause of an Ipswich woman's death due to the advanced state of decomposition.

He said it could have been possible she died as a result of a subdural haemorrhage but could not definitively say that was the case.

Christopher James Swan, 40, has pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to murdering Amanda Jane Quirk, 32, on April 1, 2010, at the home they shared in Dudleigh St at Booval.

Dr Beng Ong told the court on Thursday he conducted an extensive internal and external examination of Ms Quirk's body on April 10, 2010.

"Her body was in a very advanced stage of decomposition," he said.

"As a result I could not determine her cause of death."

Dr Ong told the court of the injuries he found on Ms Quirk's torso, arms and legs.

"There was a lot of discolouration around her head near the forehead," he said.

"I examined the tissue further under microscope and concluded they occurred a few hours prior to death."

He told the court he could not definitively confirm the cause of some of the injuries he found on Ms Quirk's body, or whether they occurred before death, due to the extensive decomposition.

The trial before Judge Philip McMurdo continues.

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