Harlesden murder trial: Marta Ligman may have been hit by a boat while alive in suitcase dumped in canal

Victim: Marta Ligman (Pic credit: Facebook)

Victim: Marta Ligman (Pic credit: Facebook) - Credit: Archant

A Harlesden woman whose battered body was found inside a suitcase floating in a canal could have been struck by a boat while she was still alive, a court heard.

The Old Bailey heard claims that Marta Ligman, 23, was savagely attacked by boyfriend Tomasz Kocik, 38, at the flat they shared in Buckingham Road.

The 5ft 2inch deli worker was then zipped inside a large, black case by the part-time labourer and dragged through the streets in the early hours of May 1 it has been claimed.

Jurors were told Ms Ligman may have still been alive when the bag was thrown into the Grand Union Canal, where she was found, near Little Venice, ten days later.

Pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary said he could not rule out that bruising on her body could have been caused by a vessel while Ms Ligman was still alive.

He said bruising can only develop when a person’s circulation is still working and their heart beating and said evidence of hypothermia indicated Ms Ligman had been exposed to the cold for an extended period of time.

He said: “She could have been kicked while in the suitcase, through the side of the case or the suitcase could have been thrown around, or she could have become injured whilst in the canal.

Most Read

“What we don’t have is a single cause of death as in a stabbing or shooting case.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray said: “The broad possibilities of what happened are inflicted trauma, trauma arising while being transported or trauma while being in the canal, for example being struck by canal traffic.

‘The latter two possibilities depend on Marta being alive when she is placed in the case.”

Kocik denies murdering Ms Ligman between April 28 and May 10 this year.

The trial continues.