Reeva ‘cowered’ behind toilet door

2013-08-18 14:00

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Reeva Steenkamp was crouching behind the toilet door in Oscar Pistorius’ bathroom when she was shot dead on Valentine’s Day.

That will be the state’s case against the Paralympian when the case goes to trial on March 3 next year.

The state will try to show that Steenkamp was hiding from Pistorius, fearing for her life, when he shot her through the toilet door.

Pistorius will make a brief appearance in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court tomorrow before the case will be adjourned to 2014.

The case is set down to be heard by the North Gauteng High Court from March 3 to March 20.

The police’s case docket was handed to Pistorius’ lawyers this week. This was confirmed by his attorney, Brian Webber.

Contained in the docket is a postmortem report revealing the extent of Steenkamp’s injuries and forensic bloodstain pattern analysis.

City Press was reliably told that the analysis is consistent with Steenkamp being in a crouching position when she was shot in the head, hip and arm.

This confirms the theory of former investigating officer Hilton Botha, published by Vanity Fair in June.

Botha told the magazine, based on his inspection of the crime scene, that he believed the former model was “cowering in the toilet with her arms crossed, which would account for why one bullet had gone through her fingers before entering her arm”.

He further stated that bullets had struck Steenkamp on her right side, “which meant that she was not sitting on the toilet but probably crouching behind the locked door”.

Botha said he believed Pistorius had fired at the door from less than five feet away. The postmortem report reveals that Steenkamp’s skull was “crushed” by the impact of the bullets from Pistorius’ 9mm Parabellum pistol.

Because of her extensive head wounds, the police initially considered that the athlete may have assaulted Steenkamp with his cricket bat, which was found bloodied on the crime scene.

But results from the forensic laboratory analysis have now confirmed that the damage was caused by the bullets’ impact from a short distance.

In an affidavit submitted during his bail hearing in February, Pistorius said he heard noises in the bathroom and “felt a sense of terror rushing over me”.

He grabbed his pistol and shouted for the “intruder” to get out of his house. He realised the “intruder” was in the toilet and felt trapped. Pistorius fired shots at the toilet door “and shouted to Reeva to phone the police”.

When she didn’t answer, he “bashed” open the toilet door with his cricket bat and found Reeva “slumped over but alive”. The state disputes Oscar’s version and said it was a planned murder.

» The state planned to add two more charges to Pistorius’ indictment tomorrow, but decided against it after objections by the athlete’s legal team, who will now make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority.

The charges of the reckless and negligent discharge of a firearm relates to a shooting incident at Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch, northern Joburg, and an alleged incident during which Pistorius fired shots through the sunroof of a moving car while driving with his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor.

Taylor will testify for the state.

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