Linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen, who died after being kicked and thumped after a youth football match last November, may not have died of his injuries, a report for the defence will claim at next week’s trial.
British forensic pathologist Christopher Milroy has identified a tear in Nieuwenhuizen’s carotid artery which could, in exceptional circumstances, lead to sudden death, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.
Milroy was asked to look at the case by law firm Spong, which is representing one of the defendents. He used to be a chief pathologist for the British police at Scotland Yard.
The Dutch forensic institute NFI considers it likely Nieuwenhuizen died from being kicked in the head and neck and did not note the possible problem with the artery.
Carotid artery dissection is a separation of the layers of the artery wall supplying oxygen-bearing blood to the head and brain, and is the most common cause of a stroke in young adults.
Nieuwenhuizen collapsed several hours after being attacked and died later in hospital.
The trial of eight people in connection with the death will be held in public at Lelystad court next week.
All seven youths are under the age of 18 and one is just 15. In the Netherlands it is customary for trials involving juveniles to be held in closed session. The other defendant is a 51-year-old man and father of one of the boys.