All footprints in Van Breda house accounted for‚ police expert tells court
Tanya Farber | 2017-06-08 14:55:57.0
The main bedroom in the Van Breda’s family house.
Image by: ADRIAN DE KOCK
If an intruder broke into 12 Goske Street to attack the Van Breda family‚ he seems not to have left any bloody footprints.
This was implied by shoe print expert Danie Van der Westhuizen‚ who visited the scene at De Zalze in Stellenbosch on the day of the murders and who sat in the witness stand on Thursday with two big pink garbage bags filled with exhibits of shoes.
He said 36 of the 38 footprints he analysed corresponded to the shoes of personnel who visited the scene in the morning. The other two were inconclusive as the quality was not good enough.
Van der Westhuizen‚ a captain in the SA police service‚ has been a shoe print expert since 1994 and testified that he is called in for “more complex crime scenes where it will take time to investigate”.
He told Judge Siraj Desai‚ who is trying Henri van Breda for the murders of his parents and brother and the attempted murder of his sister‚ that he was called in on the morning of the axe murders.
He wore full protection‚ including overalls and shoe covers‚ and took photographs which were later printed at life size so they could be compared to the shoes worn by those who had been on the scene.
Taking the court through the detail of his work‚ he described how he examines the size‚ pattern‚ and any damage on the sole of a shoe which then manifests in a print.
Piet Botha‚ for Van Breda‚ asked Van der Westhuizen why he said one of the partial prints was of a right foot.
Van der Westhuizen explained that because of a “bulge or pattern on the right‚ I can see it is from the right foot and not the left”.
The case continues.