A teenage girl found dead in a park died from having her neck compressed, a murder trial has heard.
The jury was told injuries suffered by 16-year-old Amber Niven, also known as Amber Gibson, were consistent with manual strangulation.
At the High Court in Glasgow, pathologist Dr Gemma Kemp said Amber sustained significant blunt force injuries to her neck and head which could have rendered her unconscious.
The schoolgirl’s brother Connor Gibson, 20, is charged with sexually assaulting and murdering her at Cadzow Glen, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Dr Kemp told jurors that she initially saw Amber’s body at the scene covered by bushes and branches “caked in mud”.
She later examined her body at a hospital and co-wrote a report which was reviewed in court.
The witness said Amber suffered bruising to her eyes and had signs of burst blood vessels to her ear, mouth and face.
Prosecutor Richard Goddard asked if the injuries are typical of strangulation.
Dr Kemp replied: “Yes.”
The court heard there were eight further bruises and grazes to Amber’s neck.
“In combination (with the other injuries) these bruises and abrasions can feature in fingernail compression, nails and pressure of the fingernails around the neck,” she said.
“This is consistent with manual gripping and strangulation.”
Forensic scientist Lisa Gray earlier told the court that she examined damaged clothing found at the scene.
This included a bra jurors heard belonged to Amber which was buried in the undergrowth near her body and a grey top – both of which had damage consistent with being pulled, Ms Gray said.
A pair of jogging bottoms were covered in mud and there were signs the wearer was “dragged”.
Co-accused Stephen Corrigan, 45, is accused of breach of the peace and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. He had lodged a special defence of alibi.
It is claimed Corrigan found Amber’s body, but rather than alert police, he inappropriately touched her and then hid her remains under bushes and branches.
The trial continues before Judge Lord Mulholland.