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Henri van Breda found guilty of family axe murders

21 May 2018 4:25 PM
Tags:
Henri van Breda
Attack
Family
De Zalze Estate
axe murder
Judge Siraj Desai found that there was no security breach at the Stellenbosch home on the night of the murders.

Henri van Breda has been found guilty of three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Van Breda stood accused of killing his parents and older brother, and maiming his younger sister in an attack at their Stellenbosch home in January 2015.

LISTEN: Henri van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

The court found that van Breda had sufficient time to tamper with the crime scene and portray himself as a victim.

Judge Siraj Desai handed down judgment in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Read: Henri van Breda judgment: Judge finds no security breach on estate

He found that there was no credible evidence that an intruder entered the estate on the night of murders.

Desai says van Breda’s wounds appeared to be similar to those in textbooks of self-injuries.

Read more: Defence: State has failed to prove that Van Breda killed his family

He says it is unlikely that a supposed intruder would fortuitously bring a similar axe to the one kept in the Van Breda family home.

Recap: Defence: State has failed to prove that Van Breda killed his family

Desai made several findings and flagged inconsistencies relating to the crime scene, the sequence of events, the demeanor of the accused, the extent of his injuries and more.

It seems odd that a killer could wipe out an entire family and leave one person.

Judge Siraj Desai

The accused displayed a peculiar lack of empathy towards the victims.

Judge Siraj Desai

The court has no reason to reject the evidence of the State witnesses. I find their evidence to be most reliable.

Judge Siraj Desai

Van Breda will be detained in the hospital section of Pollsmoor prison, provided he can provide a medical certificate to independently verify his chronic epilepsy.

Sentencing proceedings will take place on 5 June.

Visit the EWN special feature for more on the timeline of events in the trial.

Take a listen to EWN's Monique Mortlock report from the court:


21 May 2018 4:25 PM
Tags:
Henri van Breda
Attack
Family
De Zalze Estate
axe murder

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