Van Breda's defence team closes its case

2017-11-29 14:45
Triple murder accused Henri van Breda in court. (Tammy Petersen/News24)

Triple murder accused Henri van Breda in court. (Tammy Petersen/News24)

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Cape Town – Murder accused Henri van Breda's defence team closed his case in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, after 63 days of testimony.

State advocate Susan Galloway and defence advocate Pieter Botha are expected to present their closing arguments in the 23-year-old's triple murder trial in February. Judgment is expected to be delivered in March next year.

ALSO READ: Unlikely Van Breda concocted story – expert

On his final day in the witness stand, neurologist Dr James Butler said it was possible that Van Breda had committed the murders before suffering an epileptic seizure, which could explain why there was a two-hour-and-40-minute lapse before he phoned emergency services.

He maintained that Van Breda's behaviour was not consistent with someone who was possibly malingering, sticking to his diagnosis made earlier this month that the accused had juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

During cross-examination, Butler agreed that it was more probable that the possibly self-inflicted injuries would have occurred after the murders, but before the seizure and postictal state (recovery period after a seizure).

Wet pants

He said he had conducted research and found no precedent for malingering in the period after a homicide, as it usually relates to the actual act.

Van Breda pleaded not guilty to axing his parents – Teresa and Martin – and brother Rudi to death, seriously injuring his sister, Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.

Focus was also placed on Van Breda’s wet pants, which Butler said would have resulted from a seizure, as the bladder contracts and may result in urination.

Judge Siraj Desai pointed out that Van Breda’s family had been murdered and wet pants were a minor consequence – an "inconsequential detail".

ALSO READ: Neurologist initially suspected Van Breda of faking illness

Butler, however, said he would argue the opposite as the incontinence was of profound significance.

Galloway pointed out that a seizure was not the only possible reason for a people wetting themselves, and Butler agreed.

"But the combination of losing consciousness and wetting yourself says something else," he said.

Closing arguments will take place on February 12.

Read more on:    henri van breda  |  cape town  |  crime  |  van breda murders

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