Consultant in Emergency Medicine



Appointments:  Tel  07799147477  




Our ref:  RMcN/VH


John Radcliffe Solicitors

27 West Street


BT12 7XY


Re: Percy Jones  27 West Nile Street  Belfast


Date of Birth: 7 May 1955


Date of Medico-Legal Report:  27 April 2012



I, Russell McLaughlin am a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital.  I possess the qualifications FRCSI FCEM MMedSci CFEU.  I have been asked to provide comment in the matter of R V John Smith. I have asked to comment on the nature of the injuries sustained by your client and the plaintiff and the likelihood of these injuries being as a result of the incident as alleged. For the purposes of this report I have reviewed the following documents:


  1. Medical Records of your client dated 21 August 2011.
  2. Medical Records of the Plaintiff dated 21 August 2011.
  3. PSNI police statement of your client dated 21 August 2011.
  4. PSNI statement of the Plaintiff dated 22 August 2011.
  5. Witness statement of Mr B Lear dated 23 August 2011.




I understand that the incident as alleged is that your client assaulted the Plaintiff.  I understand from my reading of the Plaintiff’s police statement and the statement of the Witness that the incident as alleged is that your client forcibly twisted the right hand of the Plaintiff causing him severe pain resulting in a fracture of the hand of the Plaintiff.  I understand that the Plaintiff also alleges he defended himself by pushing your client to the ground.  I understand that your client alleges that he was punched in the face by the Plaintiff and sustained an injury to his upper lip and teeth.  


The medical records of the Emergency Department of Central Hospital indicate that your client sustained a laceration to his upper lip on the left.  This required 3 sutures.  A fracture of his top left central incisor was also noted. He was discharged with painkillers and advised to follow up with his own General Dental Practitioner.


The Emergency Department records of Central Hospital with regard to the Plaintiff indicate that he sustained a fracture of the neck of the 5th metacarpal. He also sustained a transverse laceration over the dorsum of the 5th metacarpal phalangeal joint.  He was treated with wound irrigation and closure with sutures, he was discharged with painkillers and antibiotics and review at a hand clinic was arranged. 




The injuries sustained by your client and the Plaintiff are more in keeping with your client’s account of the subject incident rather than the incident as alleged.  This conclusion has been reached based on the following:


  • The injury sustained by your client is more in keeping with a punch than a fall.   
  • The fracture sustained by the Plaintiff is a fracture of the 5th metacarpal.  This is commonly seen in pugilists and is often referred to in medical terminology as a ‘boxer’s fracture’.  The mechanism for sustaining this fracture is one of a closed fist striking a firm object with the leading edge of the fist being the 5th metacarpal phalangeal joint causing compression of the head of the 5th metacarpal and a fracture of the neck.   
  • The laceration overlying the metacarpal phalangeal joint is commonly associated with a punching type injury. This injury is commonly sustained by punching a victim in the face and in particular in the mouth. The teeth of the victim lacerate the skin overlying the metacarpal phalangeal joint.  This wound is in fact known in some medical  parlance as a ‘fight bite’.  




The injury sustained by the Plaintiff and the injury sustained by your client are more in keeping with your client’s account of the subject incident than the incident as alleged.




Practice Statement:


  • I understand that my primary duty in furnishing written reports and giving evidence is to assist the court and that this takes priority over any duties which I may owe to the part or parties by whom I have been engaged or by whom I have been paid or am liable to be paid.  I confirm that I have complied and will continue to comply with this duty;
  • I have endeavoured in my reports and in my opinions to be accurate and to have covered all relevant issues concerning the matters stated, which I have been asked to address, and the opinions expressed represent my true and complete professional opinion; 
  • I have endeavoured to include in my report those matters of which I have knowledge and of which I have been made aware which might adversely affect the validity of my opinion;
  • I have indicated the sources of all information that I have used;
  • I have were possible formed an independent view on matters suggested to me by others including my instructing lawyers and their client; where I have relied upon information from others, including my instructing lawyers and their client, I have so disclosed in my report 
  • I will notify those instructing me immediately and confirm in writing if, for any reason, my existing report or opinion requires any correction or qualification;
  • I understand that:
  • My report, subject to any corrections before swearing as to its correctness, will form the evidence which I will give under oath or affirmation;
  • I may be cross-examined on my report by a cross-examiner assisted by an expert;
  • I am likely to be the subject of public adverse criticism by the judge if the court concludes that I have not taken reasonable care in trying to meet the standard set out above. 
  • I confirm that I have not entered into any arrangement whereby the amount or payment of my fees, charges or expenses is in any way dependent upon the outcome of this case.






Mr R McLaughlin FRCSI  FCEM MMedSci CFEU

Consultant in Emergency Medicine