Rohde murder trial: Susan given sleeping pills after Botox

15 November 2017 - 13:07 By Farren Collins
Murder accused Jason Rohde, left,  and his wife,  Susan, whom he is alleged to have strangled while they were attending a  company conference.
Murder accused Jason Rohde, left, and his wife, Susan, whom he is alleged to have strangled while they were attending a company conference.
Image: David Harrison

Susan Rohde was using medication that is known for increasing the risk of suicide.

Susan's husband Jason Rohde is on trial in the Cape Town High Court for her 2016 murder. Her body was found in the bathroom of their hotel suite. He claims she committed suicide‚ while the state claims she was strangled and her suicide was staged.

On Wednesday defence advocate Graham van der Spuy grilled Dr Lize-Mare Steenkamp about the Stilnox and Urbanol she had prescribed to Susan for her sleep deprivation.

Steenkamp started seeing Susan in February 2014 for Botox administration. She then prescribed the sleep medications after Susan complained of insomnia.

Van der Spuy said there was extensive scientific evidence of the effects of the drugs‚ which contained benzodiazepines‚ and asked Steenkamp if she had properly informed Susan of the possible effects.

He questioned why there was no record of informed consent for the Stilnox or Urbanol‚ while there were four completed pages of consent for the administration of the Botox.

“I would expect you to make a note of that‚ or at least mention it in your affidavit‚” Van der Spuy said.

Steenkamp said she had always informed her patients of the possible side-effects of medication she prescribed and asked them to come for follow-ups.

“I believe I had a relationship with her‚” said Steenkamp‚ who treated Susan for more than two years.

“We talked about effects and I expected feedback from her.”

Steenkamp said she did not believe Susan was clinically depressed or she would not have prescribed the sleep medication.

The trial continues.

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