AS IT HAPPENED: Van Breda axe murder trial day 25

2017-06-12 09:35

The Van Breda murder trial continued at the Western Cape High Court for day 25 of the proceedings.

Follow News24 journalist Tammy Petersen on Twitter for the latest updates: @TammyPetersen87 


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Last Updated at 11:10
12 Jun 12:21
Court is adjourned. 

12 Jun 12:18
Adv Botha wants to take instructions from his expert, asks for matter to stand down until tomorrow. Galloway doesn't object.

12 Jun 12:17
Chip marks at the rear pole area (blunt side).

12 Jun 12:17
On the other side of blade, she noticed some scrapings off the head of the axe on the green paint.

12 Jun 12:16
After she cleaned it, that void area - grey and white in appearance - was no longer visible, she said.

12 Jun 12:16
To the left side, almost like mushroom effect. Lower down that area on the same side, a void area was observed under the nick.

12 Jun 12:13
Metal was basically folded, she explained.

12 Jun 12:12

Important for her to understand how the axe was manufactured as well as the damages that she saw when examining it.

On the blade area, on the top part of the blade, there is damage to the "nose" [top part of the blade edge] - a little nick in the metal. 

12 Jun 12:10
What damage found on axe showing it was used on the scene, Galloway asks.

12 Jun 12:06
Possible uncontrolled impact mark. Cause of damage? She says she couldn't say if it was definitely the axe.

12 Jun 12:04
Uncontrolled impact mark: She says she looked at it in its entirety. No certainty of direction. Characterised it as free mark with no restraint. Also saw there was no force that was applied and no proper course of the marks could be followed.

12 Jun 11:57
Third impact mark on left hand side wall in entrance of first bedroom. Caused by possible uncontrolled impact mark.

12 Jun 11:57
Blow is of such a nature that it is of a greater force or impact where the particles spatter into minute objects

12 Jun 11:55
Brown says she is not a building expert. When looking at impact damage and observing the area lower down of the mark and by characterising the impact and damage, as well as referring back to Newton's laws, this is what happens when a greater impact force effect would cause an object to spatter in the particles as demonstrated.

12 Jun 11:54
No similar pieces to fit into that impact mark.

12 Jun 11:54
Particles was the only particles that could be found on the landing.

12 Jun 11:52
Now looking at powder particles she photographed on the staircase rail at the bottom of the impact and damage mark

12 Jun 11:52

It's possible, Brown says. Desai asks if this would bring about a unpredictable result. She says the possibility is there.

Likelihood? Brown says it would be highly unlikely. Possible, but highly unlikely.

12 Jun 11:52

The brick behind the plastered area was exposed inside the impact mark. The impact was deep and therefore the brick was exposed. So basically the area it would strike, the impact mark would have to move beyond the 10 to 15mm plaster area in terms of SANBS and would expose this brick.

What I am saying... any object flying through the air decelerates in velocity and speed. When take into account laws of motion, one would definitely expect with a object that has weight, flying through the air, landing on sharp edge side to have force applied on it.

12 Jun 11:47
If one were to throw you would have a one quarter chance of it landing on the sharp edge or on any of the areas.

12 Jun 11:47
Brown holds up the axe. If i understand correctly is whether the axe could have been thrown to make this impact mark. This is not a throwing axe - it is actually a sport. Axe can land on four areas - butt, head, edge and handle.

12 Jun 11:47
Characterised as sharp edged tool impact and damage. Adv Galloway refers to Henri's plea explanation - "I saw the attacker near the middle landing... threw the axe at him. Didn't know where or what it struck."

12 Jun 11:46
She noticed there was certainty of direction, the wall was painted, it had plaster,  and the brick at the back of the plaster was exposed.

12 Jun 11:41

She came to conclusion of a sharp edge tool after looking at mark in its entirety., where the mark was - eastern side wall above the staircase rail inside the house.

She looked at the impact and its surroundings damage,  its length, its width, the depth of the mark and where on the wall the impact mark was situated, the characteristics and the impact.

12 Jun 11:40

Note: these are only the first of the markings.

Referring to her first report. Photos of one impact mark of sharp edge tool movement above the staircase rail. Close up of photo with top edge of the axe placed into the mark.

12 Jun 11:23

12 Jun 11:13
Court breaks for tea.

12 Jun 11:12
In ballistics terms were normally look at striated marks as well as indentations. When looking at those marks, there was definitely force applied to have made this controlled sharp edge tool impact mark.                        

12 Jun 11:12
When looking at these marks I observed there was certainty of direction, the edge of the two walls was the weaker area of a wall structure, the marks had a beginning and an end, and I could follow the course of the marks.

12 Jun 11:10
I looked at the characteristics inside the markings. There was damage on the adjacent wall, leading over to the corner of the wall that it is touching, as well as on the right hand side wall close to the entrance.

12 Jun 11:09
When I look at the impact mark at B, I look at the impact in terms of its entirety. Firstly it was on the right hand side wall edge and it was adjacent to the front entrance doorway. I looked at its length, its width, depth of the markings. It was a plastered inside the wall at the corner of 2 adjacent walls.

12 Jun 11:08
In terms of impact mark B , I could not determine if the axe was definitely the cause of such marks.

12 Jun 11:06
She later cleaned the axe and knife.

12 Jun 11:06
Axe hadn't been cleaned yet when she handled it

12 Jun 11:06

Figure 2; same damage viewed from adjacent wall;

figure three is taken closer;

figure 4 is in the middle of the mark close up;

figure 5 is from the entrance side of the mark;

figure 8 depicting the damage of the axe being help with the top edge of the axe into the sharp edge damage;

figure 9 is the adjacent wall with a close up of the top part of the blade of the axe being kept in damage marked.

12 Jun 11:00
Right hand area in front entrance hall is marked B.

12 Jun 10:57
When she visited the scene with the tools in her possession, she matched it with the marks.

12 Jun 10:57
Impact marks B, D and H were caused by a sharp edged tool. She says she found markings in these impact marks.

12 Jun 10:56
The blade length is 19cm; exposed blade 18.3cm from tip to plastic handle

12 Jun 10:54
She also examined the knife. Exhibit 2 handed to her. It weighed 0.0824kg.

12 Jun 10:54
The axe weighed 1.17kg.

12 Jun 10:52
Bottom part of butt up to the handle is 1.6cm.

12 Jun 10:48
Green area is the axe head; from sharp edge to where the handle starts is 8.5cm.

12 Jun 10:48

Captain Brown has the axe in her hand.

The area one would use as the handle was 34cm in length; the axe eye (butt) was 4.8cm;  from butt to the top edge 15cm; sharp edge 3.4cm.

12 Jun 10:44
She drafted her first report without the axe; the second she had had access to it.

12 Jun 10:42
We make replicas of marks using a rubbery substance in liquid format which his smeared into the area and substance takes on the format of the impact mark you are trying to cast, Brown says.

12 Jun 10:39

She observed one piece of painted cement laying on the floor at front door entrance; one impact mark with damage caused by adjacent to front entrance area.

One piece of painted cement on staircase; an impact mark consistent with sharp edged movement above staircase rail; powder particles, like cement powered particles on staircase rail.

A piece of tile fragment on staircase with same appearance of tile on staircase floor; impact damage and particles consistent with breakage damage on the 17th stair; impact damage consistent with a sharp edged tool movement in the tile area in the first bedroom.

Piece of tile fragment on staircase floor lying in debris ; one impact mark in bedroom.

12 Jun 10:32
In February 2015 she compiled a report.

12 Jun 10:31

She visited the scene in January 2015. She was on standby and got a call to go to 12 Goske Street.

She was told an axe was used at a murder scene and there were impact marks they wanted her to examine.

12 Jun 10:30
She has a degree in Human Life Sciences; Honours degree in genetics.

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