Marie Low murder trial: Dundee mum died of five cardiac arrests, court hears

A Dundee mum died after she suffered five cardiac arrests following an alleged stabbing, a murder trial has heard.

Siobhan Russell is standing trial accused of striking 36-year-old Marie Low on the body with a knife at Ballantrae Terrace on September 4 last year.

The 30-year-old has denied the charge against her, submitting a special defence of self-defence.

A joint minute was read during the trial at the High Court in Aberdeen regarding undisputed facts of the case.

The minute detailed Ninewells doctors’ efforts to save Ms Low and also revealed the cause of her death was a single stab wound to the heart.

Reading the statement, advocate depute Alan Cameron said: “Upon her arrival at Ninewells Hospital, she was found to be in an agitated and confused state with a low blood pressure. She was given a blood transfusion and then incubated.

“She suffered a cardiac arrest and underwent an operation on her heart. It was found that she had a single stab wound to her left ventricle. A large amount of blood was released.

“She suffered a further three cardiac arrests and at 5.19pm she had a further cardiac arrest. Life was pronounced extinct at 5.19pm.”

The minute also detailed injuries to Russell noted by medical experts.

Russell’s injuries included a linear abrasion to the left cheek, a wound to the left nostril, a superficial abrasion to her central forehead at her hair line, a superficial wound to her middle finger at the PIP joint, oval abrasions to her left shoulder and a 1cm linear abrasion below her left eye.

The jury was shown pictures of Russell’s injuries, taken in police headquarters following her arrest.

The court also heard from 27-year police veteran Detective Constable Pauline McDougall, who had been tasked with reviewing CCTV footage.

The court was shown footage, shot from a CCTV camera located at the junction of Balunie Drive and Ballindean Road around 2.49pm on the day Ms Low died.

DC McDougall noted the video showed a woman in white and a woman in black walking down the street, approaching a door of a Ballantrae Terrace tenement block where Russell lived.

Solicitor advocate Iain Paterson asked the witness how she perceived the pair walking. She replied: “With a purpose.”

Forensic scientist Jacqueline Sharp — who had carried out DNA profiling of instruments at the scene — told the court the knife recovered from Russell’s property was found to have DNA matching Ms Low’s profile on the blade and Russell’s on the handle.

In particular, the blade contained “spots of blood and fatty tissue” and the handle contained a contact spot of blood on the handle matching the deceased and the accused respectively.

Russell, formerly of Ballantrae Terrace, originally faced two charges. However, a charge of behaving in a threatening manner to Ms Low was dropped. She now stands accused of a single charge of murdering Ms Low with a knife. The trial continues.

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