AS IT HAPPENED: #VanBreda had 'patchy memory' on morning of murders - neurologist

2017-11-28 09:56

In the ongoing trial of triple murder accused Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court, specialist Dr James Butler pointed to neurological causes brought on by an epileptic seizure as probable reasons for deviations in Van Breda's behaviour.

 - For the latest updates, follow News24 reporter Tammy Petersen: @TammyPetersen87


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Last Updated at 07:54
28 Nov 15:41

Court adjourns for the day. The trial resumes tomorrow morning. 

28 Nov 15:39

28 Nov 15:39

Dr Butler refers to the fact that Van Breda wasn't aware that he had urinated on himself and wet his pants, as a key fact for him arriving at his conclusion. 

28 Nov 15:28

28 Nov 15:28

Judge Desai to Dr Butler: "The court needs to accept one version - yours, or the accused's, or both. What must we do?" 

28 Nov 15:26

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Galloway asks if Henri was so 'out of it' how did he manage to reason with the person at the other end of the emergency call, give them Google Maps co-ordinates, and the proper address details? 

28 Nov 15:14

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Dr Butler says Henri could have 'fobbed it off' because he had been drinking wine. 

28 Nov 14:43

Dr Butler explains how sometimes people can suffer longer seizures, and then they remain unaware afterwards that they have had a seizure, due to the effect on their brains. 

"The thing with which you think you think, is not thinking." 

"Seizure with prolonged amnesia," Butler says. 

28 Nov 14:39

28 Nov 14:37

Judge Desai is animatedly engaging with Dr Butler, questioning some of what he is saying. 

28 Nov 14:30

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28 Nov 14:29

28 Nov 14:28

Court proceedings resume after the lunch adjournment.

28 Nov 12:51

Court adjourns for the lunch break. 

28 Nov 12:46

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28 Nov 12:45

Dr Butler: "I think he had a generalised tonic-clonic seizure..." 

"I think there's little doubt in my mind, just to make it abundantly clear about this, is that in February 2016, he definitely had a generalised tonic-clonic...or it's highly likely he had a generalised...I will only use the word 'definite' when I've got a video EEG running on somebody."  

28 Nov 12:40

Advocate Galloway brings up Van Breda's medical history, which most of Dr Butler's comments stem from. Dr Butler responds that there are a number of factors at play and he's happy to run through them, but Judge Desai interrupts with a curt, "No, no, please don't." 

28 Nov 12:37

Galloway: "One of the most common results of seizures is urinating?" 

Dr Butler: "Correct... or biting your tongue." 

28 Nov 12:33

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Dr Butler says some patients who potentially suffer from epilepsy without knowing have fobbed it off for decades with their own explanations, and often go untreated. 

28 Nov 12:15

Dr Butler: "Seizures are unpredictable... they can occur at any time of the day." 

28 Nov 12:11

Dr Butler: "Yes, he [Henri van Breda] has myoclonic seizures while he's awake during the day" (based on video and other evidence). 

28 Nov 12:08

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28 Nov 12:04

To clarify and simplify the different types of epilepsy, symptoms and seizures that may have been mentioned, Advocate Galloway refers to Internet definitions of epilepsy and poses questions to Dr Butler based around those. 

28 Nov 12:00

Dr Butler says by process of elimination, Van Breda either suffers from epilepsy or is malingering. 

28 Nov 11:57

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28 Nov 11:54

Asked why he doesn't venture into what happens before the apparent seizure, Dr Butler replies: "I think there are far more competent people to comment on this." 

28 Nov 11:51

28 Nov 11:51

Dr Butler: "I have not gone through with a fine-toothed comb the sequence of events prior to that..." 

Galloway: "So are you relying largely on what happened after the seizure?" 

Dr Butler: "Yes..." 

28 Nov 11:47

28 Nov 11:47

Advocate Galloway continues questioning Dr Butler. 

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