19 May 2012

Semen found in underwear of dead girl

6:05 am on 19 May 2012

A forensic scientist has told a court semen was found in the underwear of a girl allegedly sexually violated and murdered by her uncle.

George Gwaze, 60, is on trial in the High Court Christchurch in relation of the death of Charlene Makaza in 2007.

Forensic scientist Rosalyn Rough told the High Court at Christchurch that a pair of the 10-year-old's underpants was found in the washing machine at the Gwaze home.

She said the underwear had been washed but semen was detected.

She also said a partial DNA profile taken from the semen matched the DNA profile of the accused, George Gwaze.

Defence counsel has previously said the DNA found in the girl's underwear was a tiny amount that could be expected if household clothing was laundered together.

No 'absolute' confirmation

A professor of paediatric infectious diseases told thecourt there is no absolute confirmation of how Miss Makaza died but her symptoms pointed to an overwhelming infectious process.

A witness for the defence, Professor Michael Sharland, said the clinical picture fitted that of a child with HIV who had suffered an overwhelming infection or toxic shock, though there was no absolute confirmation of how she had died.

He said the rate of bacterial infection in untreated children with HIV was 50 times higher than in healthy children.

Under cross-examination by the Crown, Professor Sharland admitted that in 25 years of treating HIV patients he had never seen tears and abrasions around the genital and anal area as seen in Charlene Makaza.

But he said he continued to see new and unusual symptoms in HIV sufferers.