On the first day back in court after a brief postponement, today, on September 11th, the court heard evidence from the State’s final witness, Captain Marius Joubert – an expert blood stain pattern analyst who works for the SAPS forensic department.

Captain Joubert’s evidence was extensive and he used the entire day to read his reports into the court record. Firstly, he dealt with his own credentials, providing detail on his own education, training and experience. He then handed up a presentation about blood stain pattern analysis to help the court understand this process.

Going through blood stains he had observed in his investigation of this particularly gruesome murder crime scene, this included, amongst other things, his conclusions based on the size and appearance of the stains, as well as his conclusions based on the way blood stains were positioned, either from impact, drips, contact or swiping.

I’ve outlined his conclusions presented in court so far, which will continue tomorrow, which include the degree of possible impact or penetration causing the numerous blood stain patterns observed on the scene.

Although it’s too early for me to present any views on what we heard today, as this evidence is untested and I am not a blood stain pattern expert, I think the lack of Marli’s blood stains on anything worn by Henri is quite noteworthy, and it would be interesting to hear whether Captain Joubert can provide views on how close he thought Henri was when the blood splatters were transferred to his clothes, in Henri’s version, he was standing nearby when his brother and father were attacked.

I’ve broken down today’s testimony into 17 categories, and will wait to see what happens when the Defence tests this testimony under cross examination.

1. The blood stains identified around Henri’s mother Teresa and his sister Marli were probably created during EMS medical intervention and the movement of Marli and Teresa. As such, these stains are to be excluded from any further analysis;
2. Impact splatters near Teresa were most likely created when force was applied to a blood source of Teresa near the floor in front of the cupboard in the passage way;
3. Stains near Marli were probably created by Marli’s blood stained hands, head and leg during movement in front of the cupboard;
4. The stain/s on the wall above the stairs were probably created by an object in motion or when an object in motion came to an abrupt halt which resulted in the blood drop being released and projected from the object;
5. Several stains in Rudi and Henri’s room suggest that force was applied to the blood source/s of Rudi while he was on the bed;
6. Cast-off pattern on the wall in Rudi and Henri’s bedroom was probably created as result of a blood-bearing object in motion, blood drops were released and projected from the object in motion then deposited against the wall;
7. Blood stain patterns suggest that Rudi was dragged or moved from the bed onto the carpet, between the two beds and further dragged (or moved) over the carpet between the two beds towards the bottom of Henri’s bed;
8. Blood stain patterns suggest that Rudi was stationery for a period of time before he was moved or dragged as a pool of blood had been created on the bedroom floor and Rudi was then moved through the pool of blood which resulted in an alteration of the pool and a creation of swipe and wipe points in the stain;
9. Blood clots identified suggest Rudi’s blood had time to clot and form congealed mass before he was moved from the bed;
10. The most plausible explanation for blood stain on the wall is that Rudi was in contact with that part of the wall which resulted in a transfer from the blood source to the bedroom wall. Due to the hair-like blood stain, it is Joubert’s opinion that Rudi’s head made contact with the bedroom wall;
11. Several cast-off blood stains in Rudi and Henri’s bedroom, where Rudi and his father Martin were found, were identified and were probably created by an object in motion or when that object came to an abrupt halt. These stains belonged to Rudi and Martin;
12. Several cast-off blood stains near this same bedroom door were probably created by an object in motion or when an object came to an abrupt halt, these stains belonged to Teresa;
13. Blood stains on the side of Rudi’s bed were probably created by the blood-stained hands of Rudi when he was moved or dragged from his bed.
14. There was a void (where an object had intervened when blood was shed) on Henri’s bed which was most probably the result of Henri’s duvet being removed from the bed after blood had been shed;
15. Several blood patterns similar to the shape of a knife were identified at the bottom left of Henri’s duvet. This object had Rudi’s blood on it.

          • HENRI’S BLOOD-STAINED SHORTS
            1. Multiple areas of splatter blood stains on Henri’s shorts were indicative of impact deposition resulting from a force applied to a blood source/s or a wound/s.
            2. Henri’s shorts were in close proximity to, and facing, toward Rudi and Martin when force was applied to both Rudi and Martin’s blood source/s.
            3. Blood and clotted blood was transferred to Henri’s shorts from an object;
            4. Henri’s shorts were exposed to multiple blood shedding events during the incident.
          • HENRI’S WHITE SOCKS
            1. Multiple areas of splatter blood stains were observed on Henri’s socks;
            2. These were probably created by impact resulting from force applied to blood sources/wounds;
            3. The back of Henri’s socks was in close proximity to Teresa and Rudi when force was applied to both Teresa and Rudi’s blood source/s.
            4. Henri’s socks were in contact with Martin’s blood as there was a transfer stain of Martin’s blood on Henri’s socks;
            5. Henri’s socks were exposed to multiple blood shedding events during the incident.

Tomorrow we will continue to hear from Captain Joubert. He has told the court that he has prepared a supplementary statement which will deal with:

          1. Sequence of multiple blood shedding events associated with the incident;
          2. Movement of victims and objects during and after blood shed;
          3. Relative positions on the scene of victims and other related objects;
          4. Nature and movement of objects involved in creating the patterns;
          5. Direction from which force was applied to blood sources.

 

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Photography Megan-leigh Heilig / HM Images

 

Article written by

Tracey Ann Stewart

Legal expert and counsel for Highbury Media