The State Pathologist today told the trial of a Co Mayo farmer accused of the murder of a member of the Traveller community that the cause of death was a shotgun wound to the body and blunt force trauma to the head.

Padraig Nally, of Funshinaugh in Cross, denies murdering 42-year-old John Ward in October 2004.

Two post-mortem examinations showed Mr Ward sustained two gunshot wounds to the body and eight lacerations to the skull and scalp.

Dr Marie Cassidy said Mr Ward's injuries were consistent with being struck by a piece of wood and the fatal shot suggested the gunman was standing above him when he was shot at close range.  

Earlier today, Mr Ward's son, Tom, said he and his father had gone to Mr Nally's house to try to buy an old car. 

They had also stopped at two other houses in the area to see if they could buy a scrap car that was outside one house and a van which was outside another. 

Tom Ward denied that he was involved in an incident in which a chainsaw was stolen from a house near Headford on the previous day. 

Asked about his father, he denied that he was 'a fighting man' but said he had marks on his face and neck as somebody cut him with a blade during an incident which took place some time previously.

The case is continues tomorrow in Castlebar.