Marli van Breda’s blood missing from axe
“THE absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence,” said Captain Marius Joubert, the bloodstain expert in the Henri van Breda murder trial, in the Western Cape High Court yesterday.
Joubert had been cross-examined by advocate Pieter Botha on the lack of blood belonging to Marli van Breda, who survived an axe attack that killed her parents and brother in their Stellenbosch home on January 27, 2015.
Botha asked Joubert how, despite lacerations to her neck and head, there had been no trace of her blood. Joubert said it was possible.
“If you hit once in different areas‚ the chances of transferring blood onto the weapon are actually minimal,” he said. “There are so many variables.”
Marli’s DNA had been found on the handle of the murder weapon, but Joubert said her defensive wounds could have caused it.
The court has heard evidence of bloodstains on Henri’s clothes belonging to his brother Rudi, his father Martin and his mother Teresa, while none of Marli’s had been found.
Botha asked if this could be from blood on the axe dripping onto Henri’s shorts during a scuffle he claimed he had with the attacker. Joubert said it was a possibility.
Botha asked Joubert about blood found in a bathroom, which the court has heard could be Rudi or Henri’s, with Teresa also included in the result as she shared DNA with her sons.
Botha said that before the attack, the Van Bredas shared each other’s bathrooms, and occasionally swopped rooms. Botha said Henri claimed he and Rudi often shared the shower in his room.
Botha asked if the blood could have been left there from another time. Joubert said it was a possibility but blood dilutes over time.
It was why during Joubert’s presumptive test to check for blood that he only tested it once, as he deemed the result too weak to repeat.
Henri stands accused of the murder of Rudi, Martin and Teresa, and faces a charge of the attempted murder of Marli.
The trial continues.
BOUND FOR COURT: Triple murder accused Henri van Breda heard police blood expert, Captain Marius Joubert, testify yesterday.