Did Henri van Breda pass out on night of deadly attack?

Van Breda claims he lost consciousness for more than two hours after seeing his sister and mother lying at the top of the stairs in their Stellenbosch home.

FILE: Murder accused Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court on 24 April 2017. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A neurosurgeon says it’s plausible that murder accused Henri van Breda passed out on the night of the deadly attack on his family members without sustained a serious head injury.

Van Breda claims he lost consciousness for more than two hours after seeing his sister and mother lying at the top of the stairs in their Stellenbosch home.

Durban neurosurgeon Mike du Trevou was on the witness stand. He is the defence's second witness.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway has gone through van Breda’s version of events during her cross-examination of du Trevou.

Du Trevou says it’s difficult to say whether van Breda lost consciousness for two hours and 45 minutes or whether he doesn’t have any recollection of events during that time.

Galloway says the doctor who examined Van Breda didn’t see any signs of a head injury and therefore he didn’t see the need to do a head scan.

Du Trevou says this is common and has used an example of a rugby player, who might be concussed and then be completely fine the day after a game with no signs of the injury.

Galloway says they can rule out drug and alcohol use, and medication as a cause for Van Breda possibly fainting.

Another cause, the prosecutor put to Du Trevou is a fainting attack called vasovagal syncope, which occurs when one's body overreacts to certain triggers, like extreme emotional distress.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)