Phoenix Newitt had bullet fragments in her heart and brain after the shooting, the court was told. (Facebook)
Eleven-year-old Phoenix Newitt would have died without emergency surgery after she was shot in the head in northern Tasmania late last year, a Launceston court has heard.
- Court hears Phoenix Newitt had two emergency procedures in Melbourne which saved her life
- Doctor said she had brain swelling, skull fractures and bullet fragments in her heart
- Ballistics expert says rifle had a loose scope, which made shooting less accurate when this was used
Nathan Richard Campbell has pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to the girl by shooting her as she sat in the back of her uncle’s car near Stagg Court in Deloraine on August 29.
Mr Campbell is not disputing that he shot Phoenix, but is defending the charge on the basis he did not intend to injure her, but was responding to threats against his daughter who was three years old at the time.
Wirginia Maixner from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital told the Supreme Court on Wednesday she performed two procedures on Phoenix during one operation.
She said the 11-year-old had swelling of the brain, skull fractures and bullet fragments in her brain and heart, and that she would have died without intervention.
Dr Maixner said the swelling was putting pressure on the part of the brain that controls vital functions like breathing.
A ballistics expert also told the court the scope on the rifle used in the shooting was loose.
First Class Constable Stephen Denholm told the jury he conducted accuracy testing with a rifle recovered near the site of the shooting.
He said when the rifle’s scope was used, bullets ended up above and to the left of the target area.
Constable Denholm said without the scope, the rifle was fairly accurate.