Damage to Griekwastad accused's shirt questioned

2013-11-06 16:39
Journalists take notes at the Griekwastad murder trial. (Picture:Volksblad)

Journalists take notes at the Griekwastad murder trial. (Picture:Volksblad)

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Kimberley - The damage to a T-shirt found on the scene of the Griekwastad farm murders could have been caused during a rugby game, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

The court was hearing evidence in the trial of a 17-year-old boy accused of the murders of Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14.

They were shot on their farm Naauwhoek on 6 April 2012.

"The T-shirt was used in the play of rugby, that could have happened, [it is] a factor," defence counsel Willem Coetzee said while cross-examining State witness Lieutenant Colonel Gerhard Vermeulen.

Vermeulen, a scientific analyst in the police forensic department, was being questioned about a blue T-shirt belonging to the boy found at the crime scene.

The shirt was torn and had stretch damage at the shoulder areas.

Vermeulen told the court in his evidence-in-chief the damage was most probably caused by a strong pull downwards along the body of the wearer.

"It tells me the same power was used to both sides. In broad terms I would say the damage on both sides was done at the same time."

Coetzee stated laboratory tests would not be able to determine under what circumstances the T-shirt was torn.

Earlier, the State suggested some scenarios that could have led to the damage to the shirt.

Vermeulen reiterated that it was difficult to determine how much force was applied to the shirt.

He agreed that factors playing a role would be the age of the T-shirt, how many other "powers" it had suffered in the past, and the weight of the person who pulled down on the shirt.

The court heard that the damage to the T-shirt could not have been caused by someone being pushed away from the wearer.

A communications and cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller started to testify just before the lunch break on Wednesday.

Read more on:    kimberley  |  griekwastad murders

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