A neck wound inflicted on Annalise Johnstone was “not survivable”, a murder trial has heard.
Jurors at the High Court in Livingston were also told traces of blood matching the 23-year-old’s DNA were found on the rear bumper and boot of murder accused Angela Newlands’ Ford Galaxy.
Newlands and Annalise’s brother Jordan Johnstone both deny murdering her at the Maggie Wall witch’s memorial near Dunning in Perthshire then dumping her body.
The jury was shown a photograph of Annalise’s body lying among long grass beside the B8062 road, east of Auchterarder.
Pathologist Dr David Sadler, a senior lecturer in forensic science at Dundee University, was called to the scene on May 10, after Annalise’s body was found by two hill walkers.
Dr Sadler, 55, said Annalise was behind a drystone wall.
“The body was lying in an awkward, collapsed position amongst the vegetation,” he said.
Dr Sadler said he examined the body the following day.
Using a computer-generated image, Dr Sadler said the main finding of the autopsy was a 17cm incision across her neck.
“The incision extended upwards between both ears,” he said.
Dr Sadler said the throat wound was long and shallow, as opposed to a stab wound which would be deep and short.
The jury heard there were three separate wound tracks, as if the weapon – possibly a knife – cut her one way, then the other way and then back in a Z-shape manoeuvre.
Dr Sadler said the wound resulted in “extensive external blood loss” and obstructed Annalise’s air way.
Asked by Depute Advocate Alex Prentice QC if the injury was survivable, Dr Sadler said: “No.”
Forensic biologist Sarah Pheasey told the trial traces of blood matching Annalise’s DNA were found on Newlands’ car.
She said a “run of blood” and a spot stain on the bumper were analysed by forensic scientists.
Ms Pheasey said the chance of the blood belonging to anyone other that Annalise was a billion-to-one.
Traces of Annalise’s DNA was also found in the boot of the car.
However, she said it was not possible to say for sure if the bleeding had been caused by the neck injury, or by Annalise self-harming.
The court heard further traces of blood matching the victim’s profile were found on grass in front of the Maggie Wall memorial.
The trial also heard from witness Shabbana Johnstone, who said the body of her older sister was dumped at the roadside “like something from the bottom of a shoe.”
Breaking down in tears, Johnstone said she wanted justice for Annalise and described an argument she had with Newlands and her brother in the days leading up to the alleged murder.
Johnstone said Jordan came at her holding what appeared to be a knife during a row in Coatbridge on May 6, four days before Annalise died.
She said she had been with her cousin Frances McGinlay when Johnstone and Newlands pulled up in the Ford Galaxy and a row had “exploded” because she wouldn’t give them the keys to her house.
“Angela was moaning that they had nowhere to go,” said Shabbana. “She said: “I’ve got to sleep in the car with four kids because of you.”
She said Newlands threw two McDonald’s iced drinks at her, and Johnstone got out of the car.
“He had this thing in his hand, it looked like a pocket knife,” she said. “He had it in his hand and he was ready to flick it up.
“My cousin jumped in the middle of us.”
She insisted she had told the truth about the incident.
“Do you not think I want justice for my big sister?” she said. “She was dumped at the road like something off the bottom of someone’s shoe.”
The trial, before Lady Smith, continues.