Croeser account ‘suspicious’

2011-09-02 00:00

POLICE Brigadier Clifford Marion told the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday that he suspected the explanation given by police dog handler Morne Croeser, concerning the alleged attack on him and his wife Erika last August, might not be the truth when he saw no incision marks on his clothing after he was stabbed in the stomach.

Marion said Croeser handed him a blue long-sleeved T-shirt in hospital which he said he was wearing the night of the incident.

He also collected Croeser’s jeans and a hooded grey jacket from his father. There was no incision mark on any of them.

Marion said at the murder scene he formed an impression that Erika Croeser had been stabbed while lying on her back because there was no blood on the walls at the crime scene, nor anywhere in the house above waist level.

However, at that stage he had no reason not to accept the version they were given that there had been an attacker.

He did not observe any sign of forced entry to the house nor “flattened” vegetation made by a person running away.

Under cross examination he said he was not aware of alleged “footprints” found in a sandy place near a corner of the yard.

The operational commander of the dog unit where Croeser worked, Captain Pierre Grant, said when he visited Croeser in hospital he asked what happened and Croeser told him that he and Erika had gone out to the Amble Inn.

On their return he let his wife out while he parked the car.

“… He heard his wife scream inside the house and he entered the house through the front door.

“He ran to the kitchen and was attacked by an unknown black male in a green overall who stabbed him in the stomach.

“He and the suspect fought for the knife and the suspect ran away.

“He [Croeser] ran to his bedroom and recovered his service pistol from between the mattress and the base and ran back towards the kitchen. He then saw his wife lying in the laundry full of blood.

“He tried to shout for help but because of the injury he could not shout loud enough so he fired one round with his service pistol through the back door … He said the knife handle broke in the struggle,” said Grant

Specialist surgeon Dr S. Allopi of Midlands Medical Centre testified that he operated on Croeser to check for damage to any major internal organs, but found none.

He said the knife penetrated through three layers of tissue into the abdominal cavity and the wound would have been painful.

Asked by state advocate Irene Neyt whether he would have expected more injuries to organs had there been a struggle involving “movement” of the knife in the wound, he said he would have.

But Allopi said he was not able to state that the wound was “self inflicted”.

Paramedic John Henry Haskins testified that he removed the knife from Croeser’s abdomen after he examined Erika Croeser and declared her dead.

Croeser was lying on his back next to his wife’s body in a “head to toe” position. He was holding his stomach but kept telling Haskins he “must save her”.

“He said I’ve done it on the road before and I must do it now.”

After he told Croeser there was nothing he could do for Erika, he noticed the knife imbedded in Croeser’s abdomen. His clothing was above the knife.

“He was anxious, restless and he wanted to pull the knife out himself. We don’t normally pull foreign objects like this out ourselves …,” he said.

Croeser insisted the knife was “going to come out” and said he would pull it out himself. Haskins then decided to remove it.

He described how the entire blade was imbedded.

Haskins said there was “not much bleeding”. Croeser “got up … he pretty much rolled over onto Erika and hugged her and held her,” he said.

Haskins said Croeser was in a stable condition, was fully conscious and was in a state of “emotional rather than medical” shock.

The trial is proceeding.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.