UK & World News

  • 17 April 2014, 0:29

Pistorius Trial: Reeva Bullet Wound Evidence

Oscar Pistorius has buried his head in his hands during a graphic account of how bullets he fired fatally injured his girlfriend.

Forensic expert Roger Dixon, who has suggested neighbours who gave evidence for the prosecution were mistaken in what they heard, gave further evidence on day 24 of the trial.

Pistoriuslowered his head and clasped his hands around his ears as Mr Dixon provided details of the injuries ReevaSteenkamp suffered.

A bullet that hit the model's arm caused such serious damage it was like "an instant amputation", he said.

The witness used a photograph placed on the back of a junior member of the defendant's legal team to illustrate where the Black Talon bullets hit Ms Steenkamp's back.

The court also heard how the bullets and fragments damaged her skull after passing through the toilet door in the athlete's home.

Mr Dixon disputed the prosecution's account that Ms Steenkamp was facing the door when she was shot because the couple were arguing.

He suggested that if Ms Steenkamp had been facing the door, the shape of the bullet wounds would have been different.

However, he was forced to admit the same Black Talon ammunition had not been used in his gun tests and there was a problem getting hold of them.

Ms Steenkamp's mother June, her agent and friends of the model were in court to hear the graphic evidence.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel challenged Mr Dixon's expertise, pointing out he was not currently registered with any forensic body.

The witness admitted he had no idea about the sound expertise of a person who made a recording of a gun being fired, which has been used as evidence.

He also conceded he did not have qualifications in ballistics or pathology, after he called into question the evidence of experienced experts in both fields who gave evidence for the prosecution.

Mr Nelcalled Mr Dixon "irresponsible" and accused him of giving evidence without having read the post-mortem report properly, after he said he had not seen a photograph of a bruise on Ms Steenkamp'sback.

The athlete's lawyers have about a dozen witnesses to call as they try to challenge the state's charge that he shot MsSteenkampdeliberately.

Earlier, Judge Thokozile Masiparuled proceedings will adjourn for more than two weeks on April 17 and resume on May 5.

Pistorius, 27, admits shooting his girlfriend but says he believed she was an intruder.

He denies premeditated murder and illegally possessing ammunition.

He also denies two further counts related to shooting a gun in public on separate occasions prior to the killing.

There are no juries in South African murder trials, so the athlete's fate will be decided by the judge, assisted by two assessors.

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