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Deane did not have a chance, says pathologist

Published:Thursday | September 4, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

Internationally acclaimed pathologist Dr Michael Baden said based on the severity of the injuries he observed during Tuesday's autopsy on the body of Mario Deane, the 31-year-old construction worker could not have survived the vicious beating he suffered while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay.

Speaking at a press conference in Montego Bay yesterday, Baden painted a gory picture of the injuries Deane suffered to his head, face, and neck, which left him unconsciousness for 72 hours before he died on Independence Day.

"From the autopsy findings, the damage to the brain was of such that he did not have a chance of surviving," said Baden, who indicated that some of the blows inflicted might have occurred while he was unconscious.

False report

While not seeking to point any finger of culpability at the police, Baden said based on his examination, the initial report from the police that Deane had fallen or was thrown from a bunk bed was clearly not true.

"Who has done it is going to be dependent on further investigations, but it clearly did not happen the way it was initially stated by the police - he fell off or was thrown off one of those concrete beds. You could get an injury from such an impact on the ground but not all the injuries. Not the neck compression, not the front, left and back injuries."

Baden, who visited the cell where the alleged assault took place after completing the autopsy, described the conditions there as, "designed to create problems" and way below acceptable standard.

"It is bad ... ; unconscionably small ... , it does not permit five adults to reside in this cramp-type cell with five concrete beds without bedding, just hard concrete ... . It would not be permitted in the United States," said Baden. "It (the cell) is guaranteed to create problems."

Unnecessary danger

Baden also took exception to the fact that Deane was placed in a cell with mentally-ill persons, which exposed him to unnecessary danger.

"He (Mario) should have been placed in a separate cell, especially since he was about to be released ... ; it would not be permitted in the United States [US]," stated Baden. "What judges would have done in the US is if you are arresting people and don't have anywhere to put them, you have to release them. Once you have arrested them, the onus is on the State to protect them."

Attorney-at-law Michael Lorne, who is representing Deane's family, said what he saw in the cell when he visited with Baden and Sadiki Deane (Mario's sister), cast serious doubts on the police's account of what transpired.