A STUDENT was left with an horrific catalogue of injuries after being attacked by a gang of teens in a skate part.

Sophie Lancaster suffered 17 different injuries during the attack in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, including a head wound where her scalp was split open.

The 20-year-old fell into a coma and died two weeks later.

Forensic pathologist Dr Naomi Carter gave a vivid and detailed description of Sophie's wounds to Preston Crown Court at the third day of the trial of a 16-year-old who denies murdering Sophie.

She visited Sophie in Hope Hospital five days after the attack when some of the injuries had already started to heal.

The doctor showed the jury graphic pictures including:

  • Both of Sophie's blackened eyes;
  • Substantial swellings to the right side of her face;
  • A 4.5 centimetre bruise to her temple extending into her hair;
  • Bruising around Sophie's trademark pierced plug in her right ear;
  • Injuries to her tattooed forearm where she tried to protect herself.

Dr Carter also described the police photographs she had seen, taken less than 48 hours after the attack. She said several of the bruises had a distinctive linear pattern which suggested they had been caused by footwear.

Dr Carter said: "Sophie had very extensive facial bruising when injuries taken as a whole, particularly those on her head, they are diagnostic of a sustained assault.

"They are consistent with repeated punches, kicks and the possible use of a blunt instrument.

"There is a suggestion of one or more stamping injuries.

"The bruising and grazing behind Sophie's left ear strongly suggests she was kicked in the head while lying on the ground."

Dr Carter also carried out an examination on Sophie's boyfriend, 21-year-old Robert Maltby at Rochdale Hospital.

He had 14 separate injuries to his head and neck, seven to his arms and one to his leg.

Robert, who had a holiday job packing doors, was released from hospital on the day Sophie died.

He is said to have only partially recovered from the attack.

The couple had met at Haslingden High School and had been living together in King Street, Bacup, for six months.