AS IT HAPPENED: Hair found in Marli's hand similar to that of Henri, says analyst

2017-05-15 16:00

The Van Breda murder trial continues at the Western Cape High Court for day 11 of the proceedings.


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Last Updated at 18:24
15 May 15:42
See you at 10am tomorrow! 

15 May 15:42

A large part of skull had been shaved for ops. Could disinfectant have given this appearance, Botha asks? Stuart says that is a possibility.

Court is adjourned.

15 May 15:38

Hair was also treated - could be dyed. This is Marli's sample.

Sample taken two-and-a-half months after the murders.

15 May 15:35

Macroscopic findings are subjective, but are peer-reviewed, Stuart says.

His finding was that the hair was straight and blonde.

15 May 15:31

Hair found on Marli's panty and t-shirt are longer, Botha says. Yes, says Stuart.

15 May 15:28

What are the chances of those hairs coming from the head of my client on that day? Botha asks Stuart. Chances are slim, Stuart says.

The chances, with respect are nil, Adv Botha responds. Yes, Stuart says.

15 May 15:26

In his report, Stuart says the length of the hairs in exhibit I are 200mm and longer.

Exhibit HH3 - photo of Henri the morning of the incident. His hair was 30mm at most, Botha says.

Seven weeks later, his hair was between 50 and 80mm

15 May 15:24

Hair starts between middle and ring finger, curls around her forefinger, eventually going across her palm.

15 May 15:22

Refers to photo of Marli's right hand clutching a long blonde hair.

Longer than 10cms, Botha asks?

Stuart agrees

15 May 15:19

Stuart says he found six hairs in exhibit I.

Botha says it would be difficult to mistake six hairs for one.

15 May 15:18

Stuart says he didn't receive an exhibit marked AA (of the hair).

Botha says Appolis refers to the examination on the 27 Jan at Stellenbosch Mediclinic - both hands were bloody and one hair was found.

15 May 15:17
Seperate handwritten notes says hair was also placed in bag. WO Nel says on 29 Jan she recieved the kit with fingernail cutting and left fingernail swab and right fingernail swab. She didn't make any reference to any hairs.

15 May 15:15
Botha says Marli was examinied by one Dr Potgieter, who also gave a written statement of forensic samples which he took and gave to WO Appolis. He said he had collected nail scrapings and cuttings and sealed it in a kit.

15 May 14:59

Desai says that would be a remarkable coincidence.

Stuart said he found 14 hairs with the use of a microscope.

15 May 14:53

Towel would also contain hair, Botha points out. Stuart concedes.

Botha asks Stuart how he knew she had been wearing the panty. He says he couldn't have known that unless he had read the covering letter.

Stuart says its coincidence.

15 May 14:51
Botha: A pillow was also taken from the room in which the two men were found. The pillow was put under head to help her breathe. Could hairs have been transferred to her hand if she grasped it? Yes, Stuart responds.

15 May 14:49

Botha says blood soaked t-shirt, panty and towel used to cover her was collected by police while Marli was in hospital.

Botha asked if she had been grasping the towel, could she have gotten hairs in her hand from the towel? Stuart says it is a possibility.

15 May 14:45
Stuart says the case file was received in a sealed bag. Adv Botha asks if they were sealed when he recevied it, and Stuart says it was already opened.

15 May 14:43

The docket is then handed over to Stuart, whereafter it is in his physical custody.

It is already in the docket, but not sealed anymore, Botha asks? Stuart says it is resealed before it comes to him, although he "might be mistaken".

15 May 14:41

Another officer would open the sealed bag, document what is inside, then sends samples to Stuart.

It is couriered to Stuart in one docket

Botha asks if clerk would open it, or Stuart? He says another officer opened it and attached it to docket.

15 May 14:40

Botha says in April 2015 cover letter (from SAPS) Stuart was told whose samples those were.

Stuart says he only looks at the hair.

15 May 14:38

In your statement, you made a mistake when you refer to the reference kit number? Yes, Stuart says.

Botha says he finds it strange because this is the number you concentrated on. Stuart replies that its an easy mistake to make.

15 May 14:34
Botha - is your evidence that you concentrated more on the kit number than the bag seal number? Stuart says he does.

15 May 14:32

Stuart says he uses the kit number as the reference numbers.

He reiterates that he refers to kit numbers, which is the only important number. He doesn't look at the names linked to that, he says.

15 May 14:27

Botha continues cross-examining Lt Col Stuart

Botha: You are not saying that they are the same hairs? Stuart - I only state that it shows resemblance.

15 May 14:13

15 May 13:50

15 May 13:50

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15 May 12:55

15 May 12:44

Stuart - Best way to answer is when I received the exhibits... I waited until I received all, at the time I had already forgotten what it said in the cover letters and references.

I work as objectively as possible. I didn't look at the docket again until I was subpoenaed.

15 May 12:42
Why did you try to leave court under impression that you only looked at numbers, cold and clinically doing your work when it is clear you were very much aware of at least 2 of the contributors?

15 May 12:41

Botha - turn to page 7.

Letter dated April 2015 from a constable with details of incident - only hair of Marli was outstanding due to her state.

Asked that it be compared to other samples.

15 May 12:38

Botha - in the letter you are told what they want you to do. You did compare the hair sample with the reference sample from Henri van Breda.

He tells you what his sample number is. So when you did you reexamination you know that the reference sample was that of Mr Van Breda.

Stuart - Theoretically yes.

15 May 12:36
When I do my examination, I compare what ever they want me to compare, Stuart says.

15 May 12:36
Stuart now conceding that he knew who the suspect was. Says he didn't know whose hair was presented.

15 May 12:35
Stuart says he didn't go through the letter. I didn't need to. I need to be as objective as possible. I don't need to know whose hair I am working with.

15 May 12:34

Letter to Stuart form Col Benecke of Stellenbosch SAPS on 20 March 2015:

Confirms they were investigating murder charge, long blonde hair was found in Marli's hand, and samples of Henri, Martin and Teresa were sent.

Hair samples were taken from Henri.

Col Benekce writes and says long blonde hair found in Marli's palm.

Sample taken from suspect, indicated in the letter.

15 May 12:33
Botha says Stuart knew who supplied the reference sample and knew who the suspect was.

15 May 12:29
Botha telling Stewart he will argue that his report is a misleading piece of evidence.

15 May 12:28

Judge Desai - why didn't you report the fact that some of the hair did not match? Was it not a duty on your part as an expert?

Stuart - it wasn't expected to state which were foreign.

15 May 12:25
We are stating we found hair that corresponded, but obviously there are some that didn't correspond.

15 May 12:23

Can you show the court where did you say in your statement there were unknown hairs?

Stuart - I didn't say that. I wasn't required to say that.  It is implied.

15 May 12:22

Botha  - how many times have you testified as an expert witness?

Stuart - three times

15 May 12:21

Botha - Samples are of five family members. 3.1 is that of Marli.

You didn't know at the time. Despite analysing it, there were hairs in exhibit K that you couldn't link to the family. Unknown hairs.

Stuart - yes. There were unknown hairs on some exhibits.

15 May 12:19

Botha - that can only be correct because you didn't examine all 14. Is that a fair statement?

Stuart - I did all 14 and compared it to the reference sample. There were some that didn't correspond.

15 May 12:17
All 14 hairs showed a resemblance to the sample hair? Stuart - I can't say all 14 correspond.

15 May 12:14
You always compare all your unknown samples to your reference sample.

15 May 12:13

Botha - how many of the hairs in 3.6 (14 hairs) did you compare with reference sample 3.1?

Stuart - all of them.

15 May 12:11
Stuart - If foreign hair found, it would have been part of the end results.

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