13 Mar 2015

Paint chips found in pieces of skull, court told

1:02 pm on 13 March 2015

Paint chips left in fragments of Christine Lundy's skull could have been in her hair and driven into the bone when she was attacked, the High Court at Wellington has been told.

Mark Lundy.

Mark Lundy. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mark Lundy, 56, is accused of murdering his 38-year-old wife, Christine, and seven-year-old daughter, Amber.

Their bodies were found in their Palmerston North home on 30 August 2000; the Crown claims Mr Lundy killed his wife for her insurance money and Amber because she saw what he was doing to her mother.

Numerous blue and orange paint chips were found in the blood and pieces of skull washed from Mrs Lundy's body.

They were also found in the sheet taken from her bed, and in "debris" taken from Amber's body.

The prosecution has previously told of Mr Lundy's habit of painting his tools with orange and blue paint to identify them as his own.

Institute of Environmental and Scientific Research scientist Sally Coulson, who specialises in trace analyses, yesterday said for some of the paint fragments to be embedded in the bone "a painted object or implement would have had to forcibly strike the bone to get transfer of paint".

Today, under cross-examination by defence lawyer Julie-Anne Kincade, Dr Coulson admitted there was no way of knowing how the paint had transferred; it could have been on the skin already and been forced into the bone when she was struck.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Oram, who was assigned to look after Mrs Lundy's body at the scene and once it had left the house, told the court he wore hooded paper overalls, booties and gloves.

Plastic bags were put on Mrs Lundy's feet, legs and head before she was lifted into a black body bag, with was secured with sellotape and then put into a blue, zipped outer bag.

Mrs Lundy was then strapped on to a stretcher and taken from the house through a window which had been removed, before being taken to the Palmerston North hospital mortuary for a post-mortem, Mr Oram said.

Mr Oram said he saw an earring in the bed which was not visible until Mrs Lundy's body was removed. The mate of it was still in her other ear.

She was also wearing three rings on her ring finger, one of which was broken. When he removed it for the post-mortem it broke completely.

As well, Mrs Lundy's left index finger appeared to be broken and other fingers and her thumb had black bruises on them, he said.

Mark Lundy's lawyer Ross Burns questioning a Crown witness.

Mark Lundy's lawyer Ross Burns questioning a Crown witness. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Earlier in the trial, a defence witness said the paint flakes could have got into Mrs Lundy's hair when she went into the garage where the tools were kept.

Mr Lundy's retrial, before Justice Simon France and a jury of seven men and five women, is in its fifth week and is expected to go for at least eight.

*Clarification - For the avoidance of doubt, please note that Radio New Zealand reporter Sharon Lundy is no relation to Mark Lundy.

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