Ligature marks on Susan Rohde's neck not consistent with position she was found in, court hears

2018-03-01 15:10
Susan Rohde. (Image via Facebook)

Susan Rohde. (Image via Facebook)

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Cape Town - The ligature marks around Susan Rohde's neck were not consistent with the position in which her body was found, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Head of the Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering subsection of SAPS, Colonel Daniel Poolman, used a number of tensile force tests to determine whether the electrical cable found around Susan's neck was used to hang herself.

She was found hanging from a hook on the back of a bathroom door at the Spier Wine Estate on July 24, 2016.

She and her husband Jason Rohde had been attending a Sotheby's conference at the wine estate at the time of her death.

Jason is on trial for her murder and defeating the ends of justice for staging her suicide.

"I asked Daniels about the position of the body, because it does not correspond with the position of the cord," said Poolman.

Desmond Daniels is a maintenance worker at Spier Wine Estate and was the first person to see Susan's body.

Read: How Susan Rohde’s body was found: 'I saw a leg near the basin' - court hears

Poolman was also concerned about the ligature marks found around her neck.

"The marks run from the front, around the back.

"This means that the tensile force used to cause the mark had to come from the back," he told the court.

Poolman then physically demonstrated how the cable should have been positioned if Susan had hanged herself.

Jason Rohde's lawyer Advocate Graham Van der Spuy objected to Poolman's evidence.

Van der Spuy said that Poolman was not qualified to give evidence as he was an engineer with no experience in forensic pathology.

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe allowed Poolman's evidence to be heard, insofar as it related to his tensile force tests.

Poolman's cross-examination has been postponed to March 15 after Van der Spuy told the court he needed more time to prepare for Daniels' cross-examination, as he had not been involved in that aspect of the case.

Rohde cut his legal team down last month, which initially consisted of Van der Spuy, Pete Mihalik, Ross McKernan and attorneys Daniel Witz and Stacey Webb, in an effort to curtail expenses.

The trial would resume on March 14.

Read more on:    jason rohde  |  susan rohde  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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