Pistorius trial – key points from day six
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius broke down repeatedly on day six of his murder trial during a graphic autopsy report of slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's injuries.
Here are the highlights of Monday’s proceedings:
– Pathologist Professor Gert Saayman gave a report of his autopsy examination of 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp on February 15 2013, one day after she died. Pistorius vomited and broke down several times during the graphic testimony.
– Steenkamp suffered four gunshot wounds: to the right-hand side of her head, her right hip, her right elbow and her left hand. Any of the bullet wounds to Steenkamp’s head, hip or elbow could have caused her death, according to Saayman.
The bullet which hit Steenkamp’s head fractured her skull and entered her brain. She would have lost consciousness, and stopped breathing very quickly. The bullet wound above Steenkamp’s right elbow shattered her upper arm and she would not have been able to use it if she had survived. The hip wound would have affected her balance.
The model and law graduate also had injuries from bullet fragments, wood splinters from the door and pieces of her own bone.
– Pistorius fired Black Talon bullets, particularly lethal ammunition from US-based firm Winchester. The bullet opens on impact, greatly increasing tissue damage.
– Food found in her stomach suggests Steenkamp ate within two hours of her death. This appears to contradict the athlete’s version that the couple went to bed around 10pm the previous evening.
– Judge Thokozile Masipa banned all live media coverage of Saayman’s testimony on the autopsy report, including live posts on twitter and blogs.
“There shall be no live broadcast of the evidence of Professor Saayman. That applies to Twitter,” Masipa ruled.
The media were allowed to publish summaries of the report later, but an order is still pending on the broadcast of a footage package summarising Saayman’s testimony.
– At the start of the day under cross-examination, security guard Pieter Baba insisted he telephoned Pistorius first after the shots, though defence lawyer Barry Roux insisted phone records clearly show the athlete made the initial phone call.
Under tough questioning, Baba stuck to his version that Pistorius said “everything is fine”, despite an earlier statement in which he stated the sprinter had said “I’m okay” when the security guard spoke with him after the shooting.