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 in 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 last year after Annalise’s body was found by two hillwalkers.
Dr Sadler, 55, said Annalise was lying behind a drystone wall. “The body was lying in an awkward, collapsed position amongst the vegetation,” he said.
Using a computer-generated image, Dr Sadler said the main finding of the autopsy was a 17cm incision across her neck, which extended upwards between both ears.
He said the 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-shaped manoeuvre.
Dr Sadler said this resulted in “extensive external blood loss” and obstructed Annalise’s airway.
Asked by depute advocate Alex Prentice if the injury was survivable, Dr Sadler said: “No.”
Forensic biologist Sarah Pheasey told the trial that traces of blood matching Annalise’s DNA were found on the bumper of Newlands’ car.
She said the chance of the blood belonging to anyone other that Annalise was one billion to one.
Traces of Annalise’s DNA were also found in the boot of the car. But 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 her older sister was dumped at the roadside “like something from the bottom of a shoe”.
Breaking down in tears, Ms Johnstone said she wanted justice for Annalise.
The trial before Lady Smith continues.