AS IT HAPPENED: I'm no hired gun, says Jason Rohde pathologist Perumal

2018-06-07 10:04

The trial of Jason Rohde, accused of murdering his wife, has focused on forensic evidence in the Western Cape High Court.

Jason Rohde is cross-examined during his trial for
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Last Updated at 03:30
07 Jun 13:12

07 Jun 13:12
Judge Salie-Hlophe adjourns until Monday when Perumal will face cross-examination

07 Jun 13:10

In our practice, credibility is the major currency, says Perumal  

"I won't sacrifice my independence or credibility for any person or institution"


07 Jun 13:09
VDS refers to state pathologist Dr Abrahams saying Perumal cannot be trusted because he is a "hired gun".

07 Jun 13:07
Dr Abrahams lives in a rather small world, says Perumal

07 Jun 13:06

07 Jun 13:02
Perumal reads an article that says while CPR is potentially life-saving it also causes a variety of injuries. Injuries occur in 93.7% of CPR cases, it states, most to organs and structures in the chest region.

07 Jun 12:58

07 Jun 12:57
The gist of this is that soft tissue injuries occur at high frequency in hanging deaths, says Perumal

07 Jun 12:53

07 Jun 12:52
The sternocleidomastoid is a long muscle in the side of the neck that extends up from the thorax to the base of the skull behind the ear. When the sternocleidomastoid on one side contracts, the face is turned to the opposite side.

07 Jun 12:50
Susan Rohde was in the most common age group for hanging, says Perumal

07 Jun 12:48

07 Jun 12:45
Perumal concludes that some of Susan Rohde's injuries were the result of CPR

07 Jun 12:39
Perumal: "At the time of the autopsy, we don’t have the whole picture. We only have what injuries are presenting. I would not limit myself as being categorical, adamant in terms of cause of death."

07 Jun 12:39

07 Jun 12:38
Perumal found that Susan's injuries were consistent with ligature strangulation i.e. hanging. He cautions that he can make conclusion on what death is consistent with but not to the exclusion of other pathology.

07 Jun 12:36

07 Jun 12:36

Perumal says he cannot be sure about the cause of death  

"I can say that it's consistent with hanging, but I'm not prepared to be adamant about it"


07 Jun 12:33
Perumal's report says Susan had injuries as a result of blunt force trauma

07 Jun 12:31

07 Jun 12:27
VDS brings out a whole lot of medical literature and asks Perumal to explain why a dribble of saliva from Susan's mouth was a sure sign of ante-mortem (before death) hanging

07 Jun 12:26

07 Jun 12:25
Presence of saliva is an indicator that the ligature was placed around Susan's neck before she died

07 Jun 12:23

07 Jun 12:21
Dr Khan made errors, says Perumal

07 Jun 12:17
Perumal has found his list and Judge Salie-Hlophe asked if the gremlins returned it to him. Public laughs. He is reading it out now. I will take a screenshot in a while.

07 Jun 12:15
Perumal lists mistakes made by state pathologist

07 Jun 12:10
Short adjournment as Dr Perumal searches for his documents

07 Jun 12:09
VDS turns to Susan's blood alcohol levels. Perumal says no matter what degree of tolerance, an average of 0.14g/100ml at around 2am would influence anyone. "It will affect the central nervous system of a vast majority of individuals".

07 Jun 12:06

07 Jun 12:04
Van der Spuy confirms Perumal's report. Perumal adds nothing further

07 Jun 12:02
VDS is reading through Perumal's report and stopping at sections to ask whether he wants to add anything.

07 Jun 12:00

07 Jun 11:57
Advocate Graham Van der Spuy making the point that Dr Perumal is not biased

07 Jun 11:55
Perumal indicates abrasions on Susan's neck

07 Jun 11:53

07 Jun 11:22
Sounding like a gripping TV series, Van der Spuy says he will ask question on cause of death "after the break". Short tea adjournment.

07 Jun 11:22

07 Jun 11:19
VDS says that looking at videos of people hanging, some have a change of heart and try to stop process. Perumal: "I don't think there was that attempt to grab at the ligature once it was placed."

07 Jun 11:17

07 Jun 11:14
Perumal says manual strangulation is unlikely because associated bruising is not in typical place.

07 Jun 11:13

07 Jun 11:13
Perumal: When resuscitation takes place, one extends jaw [especially lower jaw] to keep airway open. He looks at post-mortem photos and says Susan's bruising is in that same area.

07 Jun 11:10

07 Jun 11:07
Perumal says his opinion is that the lung contusions were caused by the trauma of CPR.

07 Jun 11:06

07 Jun 10:56

07 Jun 10:56
Perumal: "This recommendation for passports to be seized of suspect in forensic pathology, is serious overreach. It is not the function of the doctor to engage in this.

07 Jun 10:53

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