Marli van Breda’s blood miss­ing from axe

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - The­olin Tembo

“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.

PIC­TURE: DAVID RITCHIE

BOUND FOR COURT: Triple mur­der ac­cused Henri van Breda heard po­lice blood ex­pert, Cap­tain Mar­ius Jou­bert, tes­tify yes­ter­day.

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