Woman ‘murdered by lover’ was found with 32 stab wounds

Miss Smith had 26 stab wounds to the head and neck, three to the back and three to the arm.

A woman allegedly murdered by her lover was found with 32 stab wounds, a jury has heard.

Neomi Smith also had the same number of what a pathologist described as “blunt force injuries”.

The details emerged during Keith Rizzo’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Rizzo, Miss Smith’s partner, denies murdering the 23 year-old at her flat in Brechin, Angus last June 9.

Pathologist Tara McNamee helped carry out a post mortem on Miss Smith’s body.

She was found to have died from “multiple stab wounds, blunt force head injury and neck compression”.

The stab injuries consisted of 26 to the head and neck area, three to the back as well as another three to the arm.

Dr McNamee said these were caused by a “sharp implement” with the “most likely” being a knife.

The court heard two “gaping” wounds to the neck were considered “significant”.

Jurors were told the blunt force injuries were “particularly to the face”.

Dr McNamee said this could be as a result of fists, feet, weapons or contact with a hard surface like a wall.

The pathologist further explained the “asphyxia” Miss Smith suffered was caused by a “manual compression” of the neck.

Miss Smith also had a defensive-type injury to the finger.

The pathologist was asked in what order Miss Smith was hurt.

Dr McNamee said due to a number of factors – including where the wounds were – she believed the “sharp force” injuries were inflicted last.

The court was also told alcohol had “contributed” to the death, but not caused it.

Prosecutor Duncan McPhie asked: “Without alcohol consumption, would Neomi Smith have died from one or a combination of the three (causes of death)?”

Dr McNamee: “Yes.”

The pathologist was the final prosecution witness in the trial.

Rizzo, also 23, denies the accusations.

The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.

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