UK & World News

  • 15 March 2014, 4:52

Photo Shows Oscar Pistorius Drenched In Blood

Photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius taken in the aftermath of his girlfriend's death have been shown in court, as a picture of her injuries was again displayed by mistake.

The images seen on the tenth day of his murder trial showed the Paralympic athlete drenched in blood from the waist down, his prosthetic legs splattered red.

Another picture showed the 27-year-old South African clenching his hands, with blood smeared across his left arm.

Television screens in the courtroom in Pretoria went black temporarily when an image of Reeva Steenkamp's body was flashed up.

A similar error on Thursday saw several of her friends and relatives leave in tears.

On a day dominated by evidence from retired police colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, the court heard how the door of Pistorius' bathroom was dismantled, stashed in body bags and stored in an office where it could be guarded by security.

The door was propped up against a desk for several days, although Mr van Rensburg, who was among the officers sent to Pistorius' home on Valentine's Day last year, insists it was not tampered with.

Asked by defence lawyer Barry Roux what he found when he arrived at the house, Mr van Rensburg recalled seeing a pellet gun and an empty cartridge as he made his way towards the bedroom.

Pistorius was "crying and upset" and in an "emotional state", he said.

Mr van Rensburg told the court he followed a "blood trail" to the bathroom, where two mobile phones and a discarded tissue were found.

A gun holster and a magazine discovered on a bedside table were seized, along with rounds of ammunition, he said.

Mr van Rensburg repeatedly denied tampering with evidence at the scene.

However, he admitted he failed to spot a door in Pistorius' home had been sealed in different ways in two photographs, as Mr Roux sought to identify holes in the police investigation.

"How do you feel about your ability to observe?" Mr Roux asked.

"Let's say, I think a lot of times it's quite good," Mr van Rensburg replied.

The court was also shown photographs of a white mobile phone, lying in clear view on a tiled bathroom floor, which Mr van Rensburg said was obscured by a towel when he first entered the room.

"The cell phone was not visible like this," he confirmed.

Mr Roux then asked: "When can we rely on a crime scene photo as a true reflection?"

"The first photographs taken of the scene are the most important," Mr van Rensburg replied.

Pistorius, who won two gold medals at the Paralympics in London in 2012, is charged with premeditated murder.

He is also accused of illegally possessing ammunition, as well as two further counts related to shooting a gun in public in two separate incidents before the killing.

The athlete denies the charges and says he shot Ms Steenkamp, 29, by mistake after mistaking her for an intruder.

The trial continues.

Advertisement