Pathologist: Cause of ex-boxer's death unclear

Shaun Cummins. Credit: Police handout

A forensic pathologist has been giving evidence today in the trial of a carer accused of murdering a former boxer from Leicester, said the cause of death was unclear.

The dismembered remains of 45-year-old Shaun Cummins were found in bin liners in 2 freezers at his home on Marriott Road in Leicester.

Mr Cummins was a former British Champion boxer. He retired in 1995, but in 2004 had a motorcycle accident which left him paralysed from the waist down.

His partially decomposed body was found last September. It had been cut into ten pieces with a chainsaw, and then frozen. His carer, 29 year old Thomas Dunkley has been charged with his murder.

Forensic Pathologist Professor Peter Vanezis who carried out the autopsy, said it was extremely difficult to pinpoint the actual cause of death because of the decomposition of the corpse and the fact it had been dismembered.

He said the dismembering could "mask" a fatal knife wound to the lungs, heart or neck, but it was impossible to tell for sure.

He also acknowledged that prior to his death Mr Cummins was suffering from bronchial pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, kidney disease and gastritus, all of which had the potential to be fatal.

Thomas Dunkley admits chopping up the body, but denies murder. The case continues at Leicester Crown Court.