Delay in testimony of pathologist who examined Courtney Pieters

2018-06-19 12:20
Mortimer Saunders in the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Mortimer Saunders in the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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The pathologist who examined little Courtney Pieters' body is expected to testify on his findings on Thursday.

Professor Johan Dempers was expected to take to the stand on Tuesday, but prosecutor Esmeralda Cecil told Judge Pearl Mantame in the Western Cape High Court that the pathologist needed time to go through the record of testimony delivered last Thursday.

Forensic analyst Lukhanyo Tiya was on the stand and was cross-examined again after an application by the defence. He confirmed that while pre-ejaculation fluid is produced before semen, it was possible to find semen in the fluid if the man had ejaculated more than once.

This means it was possible for Mortimer Saunders' semen to have been present in Courtney's body, even if he had not raped her, the court heard that day.

Read: Initial DNA report matches semen found on Courtney Pieters’ T-shirt to alleged murderer (Warning: Sensitive details)

Saunders faces charges of premeditated murder and rape, but denies that the toddler's death was planned or that he raped her while she was alive.

In his plea explanation, he confessed to murder and to using his fingers to penetrate her after her death.

Saunders said he had given Courtney, 3, ant poison to make her sick, before he choked and beat her and used a towel to close her mouth.

He claimed he had done it because of "ill feelings" between him and her mother, Juanita.

Saunders – a childhood friend of Courtney's father who lived in the same house – had also apparently been irritated because the toddler had wanted to watch TV in his room when he wanted to sleep.


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Read more on:    courtney pieters  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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