Iskov committal trial
THE estranged wife of millionaire Tweed builder Clayton Iskov had severe head injuries consistent with being hit by a tyre lever or a metal bar, and not necessarily from hitting a windscreen in a car crash, his committal hearing for a murder charge has been told.
Iskov, 38, from Tweed Heads, has pleaded not guilty in Lismore Local Court to murdering his wife Kylie Iskov on August 6, 2007, when the couple's white Holden Commodore collided with a tree on Tweed Valley Way between Mooball and Hull's Road.
He is also charged with maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent; and negligent driving causing death.
Chief forensic scientist with the Hunter Area Health Service, Dr Timothy Lyons, reviewed post mortem photographs taken of Ms Iskov's injuries, NSW Police photos of the accident, and also reviewed the post mortem report by a Tweed Heads doctor.
Dr Lyons said injuries he detailed were not consistent with a car crashing into a tree, and he found a “pattern” of injuries on her face more consistent with “blunt-force trauma”.
He said there were multiple injuries to her head, and injuries to her hand, including a broken fingernail, are of a type consistent with “defence pattern injuries”.
He said bruising to her face needed time to develop and may have been caused up to two hours before the crash.
When asked by Col McPherson for the Crown what his opinion was on the cause of death, Dr Lyons said it was “a complex question” to answer.
Dr Lyons said there were two distinct types of injuries to her head, with multiple lacerations and wounds and a “very significant” swollen face that were likely caused by multiple blunt-force injuries and causing Ms Iskov “an altered level of consciousness”.
The other pattern of injuries from hitting the windscreen appeared more superficial.
“She does not have a pattern of facial injuries typical of windscreen injuries,” Dr Lyons said.
“It is indicative of a sustained assault where you see multiple traumas.”
Dr Lyons said photos showed a variable pattern of head injuries likely caused by a severe application of blunt force which could be caused by a metal bar or tyre lever.
Dr Lyons agreed with Tim Game SC during cross-examination for Iskov, that Ms Iskov's forehead had struck the windscreen because she was unrestrained by a seatbelt.
“I believe this woman had a significant head injury prior to the motor vehicle accident,” he stated.
“The evidence suggests her head impacted with the windscreen, but I am not seeing a typical pattern of head injuries in an impact with a windscreen. I am seeing superficial scratches.”
Iskov was not charged with his wife's murder until April 24, 2008, following an intensive police investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
The hearing continues today.