Footage of gruesome Van Breda crime scene viewed in court

2017-06-08 15:25
Henri van Breda is charged with multiple counts of murder. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Henri van Breda is charged with multiple counts of murder. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - A 30-minute recording of the bloody scene which confronted Warrant Officer Andre Hitchcock when he stepped into 12 Goske Street on the day of the De Zalze axe murders, was viewed in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Defence attorney Pieter Botha, for accused Henri Van Breda, objected when State prosecutor Susan Galloway requested that the evidence be shown.

This after the defence implied that the scene had been tampered with between the time the video was taken and when the scene was photographed by Hitchcock, Galloway said.

Botha based his objection on the graphic footage the recording contained, along with close up footage of the dead bodies of Martin, Teresa and Rudi van Breda.

Judge Siraj Desai allowed for the recording to be played, but cleared the public gallery.

The media was allowed to view the footage, but were warned not to be graphic in their reporting.

READ: Bloody axe used in Van Breda murders only swabbed 3 times

Cigarette butts on floor

Hitchock's recording showed bloody footprints and blood spatters in the entrance passage. The lounge appeared intact - a white handbag, Monopoly board game and magazines were on one end of a table, while a laptop and hardcover writing book were on the other end.

In the living room, a pillow lay on the floor. A blanket was on one couch, where it appeared that someone had been lying. A can of insect repellent was on the other.

A watch and hard drive were on the coffee table.

In the kitchen, a bottle opener, cigarettes, lighter, cordless phone and cellphone were on the counter. The kitchen drawers were partially open.

Cigarette butts were on the floor and appeared to have burnt out on their own, without being stubbed out.

A drop of blood was noted on the door leading from the kitchen to the pantry.

The back door of the house was open, and items were hanging on the washing line outside.

READ: Henri van Breda's first statement to police

Blood spatters

A perimeter inspection showed numerous ground level windows open, as well as on the second floor.

Two blood droplets were shown on the boundary wall leading to the side gate, where the key was in the keyhole.

Back inside the house, Hitchcock moves toward the light-coloured tiled staircase.

Blood spatter can be seen at the foot of the stairs, next to a pair of shoes.

Spots of blood can be seen as he ascends the stairs. The last few steps show the surface covered in blood.

At the top of the staircase next to a book rack, Teresa is seen lying on her stomach in a pool of blood, dressed in a vest and underwear.

In Henri and Rudi's bedroom, bloody footprints can be seen on the ground.

Martin's body lies slumped over the bed closest to the door. The wall above the headboard is covered in numerous blood spatters, as is the grey duvet and pillow he is lying on.

Bloody shoe prints

At the foot of the second bed, Rudi lies on the floor with his feet toward the en suite bathroom.

A shot of the area between the two beds shows the family dog's bed, with blood spatter on the mat covering the laminated wood floors. A knife is seen peeking out from under the bed on which Martin lies.

In the en suite bathroom, Hitchock took footage of the faeces in the toilet. Henri, in his plea explanation, said he had been defecating when he heard the noise come from the bedroom.

Hitchcock also zoomed in on the various valuables which were in the house. In Martin and Teresa's room, a laptop was on a chair and an iPhone was on the pedestal.

In Marli's room, her cellphone was charging and a laptop was charging on her bedside pedestal.

A total of 38 bloody shoe prints were taken at the scene.

Botha pointed out to Hitchcock that there were many others, but only certain ones were marked.

The officer responded that only those considered relevant were retrieved.

Proceedings continue, with shoe print expert Captain Danie van der Westhuizen on the witness stand.

Van Breda, 22, pleaded not guilty to axing his parents and brother to death, seriously injuring his sister, and defeating the ends of justice.

He alleges an intruder wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes was behind the attack two years ago. He also said that he had heard other voices of people speaking Afrikaans in their home in the luxury Stellenbosch Estate.

Van Breda claimed that after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder, the man had escaped.

Hitchcock last week testified that he had collected more samples at the Van Breda's De Zalze home than he had at any crime scene in his entire career.

Van Breda was allowed by Judge Desai to sit on a nearby court bench if he didn't want to view the scene footage. He took up this offer.

Read more on:    henri van breda  |  cape town  |  crime  |  van breda murders

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