LITTLE HARROWDEN MURDER: ‘That knife could cause that stab wound’
A forensic pathologist said Stevie Pentelow would have been capable for a few minutes after being stabbed
A forensic pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on Stevie Pentelow told Northampton Crown Court he died from a single stab wound that penetrated his heart in Little Harrowden.
The professor said the wound, which was around 10cm below the left armpit and between the fourth and fifth ribs, had a tract of at least 7cm and had penetrated the sac that holds the heart.
Professor Rutty said his examination was complicated by the fact there had been attempts to surgically repair the wound but he confirmed it had a “sharp upper aspect, seen with a single edged knife” that was “typical of a kitchen knife”.
The professor was shown the murder weapon, a kitchen knife that was found in Great Harrowden and was stained with Mr Pentelow’s blood, and said: “That knife could cause that stab wound.”
On Tuesday, prosecutor David Herbert QC said it was not disputed that the knife had been in defendant Sifean Ghilani’s hands during the incident.
The prosecution’s first witness, Sophie Hughes, told the court on Tuesday that she believed defendant Tristan Patel had been holding a jagged knife and had made stabbing motions at Mr Pentelow.
When asked by judge Rupert Mayo, the judge presiding over proceedings, if there was any evidence of a serrated knife, Professor Rutty said there was no features of the wound paths to suggest a serrated blade had been used.
He said the stab wound had gone between the fourth and fifth ribs, through the muscle tissue and penetrated the sac which surrounds the heart and damaged the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart.
He said Mr Pentelow would have been capable for a couple of minutes before enough blood entered the sac and compressed the heart so it could no longer beat.
Stevie Pentelow was seen walking away from the scene after he was stabbed.
Professor Rutty said: “It’s not like you see on the telly where people get stabbed then collapse immediately.”
Professor Rutty said East Midlands Ambulance Service had taken Mr Pentelow to KGH, where he was in cardiac arrest.
“They undertook a procedure to work out he had blood around his heart, which stopped his heart from beating,” said Professor Rutty.
This blood was withdrawn with a needle and Mr Pentelow was transferred to Coventry hospital, where there is a major trauma unit.
Professor Rutty said: “On arrival, he was in cardiac arrest again.
“They attempted to repair the stab wound to his heart and took him to theatre. They tried their best to deal with the consequences of the bleeding.
“Evidently he was beyond medical help and declared dead.”
In the post-mortem examination carried out on June 22, the day after the incident in Little Harrowden, Professor Rutty found a second wound on Mr Pentelow’s chest, but he believes this was caused by a chest drain as part of the medical intervention.
This lower wound was between the seventh and eighth ribs.
The forensic pathologist said he favoured the upper wound as the cause of death.
Sifean Ghilani, 20, of Winstanley Road, Wellingborough, Tristan Patel, 18, of Newcomen Road, Wellingborough, Levar Thomas, 20, of Knox Road, Wellingborough, and a 16-year-old boy from Wellingborough are all charged with conspiracy to rob Stevie Pentelow of Class A drugs and with his murder.
They have all pleaded not guilty.