Cape Town - Veronique Dickson was stabbed so many times that pathologists lost count after tallying past the 100th wound, the Cape Town Regional Court heard on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old woman was found stabbed, strangled and mutilated at the Roodebloem Road home of a friend on November 22, 2012.
Denzil Adams, 28, dubbed the Houdini of Pollsmoor, is on trial for her murder.
Adams got his nickname after he fled from police while being questioned about Dickson’s death, and escaped from custody after his arrest before being apprehended again.
On Wednesday, Dr Sairita Maistry, a forensic pathologist at UCT and the Salt River Forensic Services, told the court it was interesting that the wounds were inflicted while Dickson was alive and after she had died.
“There was evidence of multiple stab wounds on the face, neck and body. Stab wounds punctured the right lung and liver. It was mostly concentrated to the face, neck, arm, back, thighs, shin and ankle.”
Sizes of the cuts ranged from gaping wounds to smaller puncture marks, she added.
The testimony brought tears and shock to family and friends in the gallery.
“Most damage was on the neck and it occurred during the anti-mortem stage, when the victim was still alive.
“There was damage to the internal jugular vein and fractures to the spine and right side of the neck.”
She described crisscross slash wounds “almost like a chess board appearance” as mutilation wounds.
“There were multiple bruises on the lips and face that was caused by blunt-force trauma such as being hit in the face.
“Swelling, bruised eye, evidence of blunt force and two belts present around her neck.”
Maistry said the mutilation-type wounds occurred after death.
She further testified that there were no signs of sexual assault.
Monique Adams, wife of the accused, later took the stand and said she grew up with Dickson.
“Her mother lived with Priscilla Patrick, who was a mother figure to me.”
She later told the court that she received a phone call and SMS from her husband after 4pm on the day of the murder.
“In the SMS he said, ‘I love you, forgive me and I miss you.’”
Adams further testified about an incident in which Denzil told her he was “waiting for God”.
“He stood outside the door (of their home) for two hours and said that God is coming.
“I told him that the devil is playing tricks with his mind.”
She said he “turned to the Bible” in 2010 to make amends for the “mental and physical abuse” she and her children suffered at his hands.
The trial continues on Thursday.