AS IT HAPPENED: Day 25 - Pistorius on trial

2014-04-17 09:16
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP, Pool)

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP, Pool)

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Oscar's trial - day 24 summary

2014-04-16 15:47

Here's everything you need to know about day 24 of Oscar Pistorius's trial in the North Gauteng High Court.WATCH

Oscar Pistorius's murder trial resumed in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday – the last day before a two-week postponement.

Defence expert witness Roger Dixon was on the stand for the entire day's proceedings, which were adjourned shortly before 13:00.

13:09 - That's it for today folks. Remember to check out News24's Pistorius on Trial page for all the latest news, video and analysis. Watch a full summary of day 25's court proceedings here.

13:08 - The Pistorius trial will resume two days before the elections, so that will be a busy week. Check out News24's Elections Site and interactive map to catch up on some other news, now that the Pistorius trial is adjourned for two weeks.

13:03 - What are you all going to do with yourselves now that the trial has been postponed for two weeks? Let us know

12:52 - 

12:51 - 

12:47 - Judge Masipa adjourns court, proceedings will resume at 09:30 on Monday 5 May.

atch a full summary of day 25's court proceedings here:

Subscribe to News24's YouTube channel here for all our latest news videos.

12:46 - Judge Masipa queries whether court personnel will be happy to work additional hours. Roux agrees that the court personnel need to be consulted.

12:45 - Nel says this is not unreasonable and he supports the defence's call for adjournment. Asks that the matter be postponed to 09:30 on 5 May, and they can discuss making up lost time at that stage.

12:44 - Roux says for the next witness, the evidence in chief will take longer than allotted court time, which will be unfair. Asks if court can adjourn early, and start early when court resumes to make up for lost time.

12:43 - Barry Roux has no further questions for Roger Dixon. He has been excused. And now he can go get that beer.

12:41 - Dixon explaining how he calculated approximate height of Pistorius. Relates to him being seen through window by neighbours.

12:38 - Pics of police tests showing witness board peppered with secondary projectiles shown in court.

12:35 - Dixon speaks about the marks and what was visible in the post-mortem, says mark he saw only visible on 14th. Says he sat down last night to study this in light of yesterday's questioning.

12:33 - Roux asks Dixon about a photo in a file, which he doesn't want to be seen in court. It was taken at the time of the post-mortem, and shows a bruise.

12:32 - Court resumes, Judge Masipa corrects Roux on the number of the exhibit. Says she was corrected by the clerk.

12:28 - Court adjourns for 2 minutes while Roux confers with Dixon.

12:27 - Defence counsel Barry Roux wants a photo admitted as evidence. Wants to confer with Dixon.

12:27 - Nel: I have no further questions. Roger Dixon hopefully can soon go grab the beer he mentioned on his Facebook post earlier.

12:24 - Dixon now back to talking about the test on door.

12:20 - Nel asking whether Dixon was talking to defence lawyers, asks how he knew the defence made photos available. Says it was an inference, innocent answer. Nel picking up on this.

12:19 - Nel indicates that he's nearly finished with his questioning. OP just yawned, according to tweets from court.

12:16 - Dixon re-explains the purpose of the test - to replicate the set-up and angle that the gun was fired at. Entrance and exit wounds exhibit specific characteristics. Looking at wood splinters.

12:15 - Dixon holding bottle of water, clearly he needs a sip after his long, rambling answers.

12:14 - I was taking photographs, unless someone else behind me that I was unaware of, says Dixon. Nel picks up on this, finding it an odd answer.

12:11 - Nel asks about maranti wood, and if the angle would make a difference as far as a splinter is concerned. Yes it would, says Dixon. Nel repeats he's asking about the angle. Dixon: Replicated angle, distance, height, in order to shoot bullets through the door to record effects of bullet passing through the door to collect wood splinters. That the purpose of the test, he explains.

12:09 - Did you measure the angle of the bullet as it went through the door, Nel asks Dixon. Yes, measured geometrically, using tape measure, says Dixon. Photo of test is not visible to court.

12:08 - Dixon explains photo of test on bullet.

12:06 - Nel questions Dixon on analysis of wood splintering.

12:05 - Nel questions Dixon about photographs, says he took a lot. Selected some to illustrate his point. Downloaded onto computer, specific folder. Doesn't have objection to court looking at these photos.

12:03 - Dixon now talking about the cricket bat hitting the door, and the tests he did on the door.

12:00 - 

11:55 - Dixon now speaking about tests on varnish, conducted at university. Tests not done on any other doors in the house. Fairly long, rambling answer.

11:52 -

11:52 - Dixon is asked about the removal of a piece of the prosthetic leg after it was given back.

11:50 - You're reminded what a strange and awful trial this is in many ways when you see a forensic geologist clutching Pistorius's prosthetic leg, tweets Rebecca Davis.

11:48 - Prosthetic shown in court, Dixon says it appears to be the one he cut a piece out of. He's holding it in his right hand, waving it about as he talks about it.

11:47 - Dixon testifying about varnish left on prosthesis, which relates to amount of force applied to door.

11:45 - Dixon explains fibres stuck on door. Door has now been cleaned.

11:42 - Nel asks about piece of prosthesis cut out, is it smaller than mark on door? Dixon agrees, saying it is slightly smaller.

11:40 - Nel asks about piece of prosthesis. Has maintained chain of custody. Wrote it down on his computer.

11:38 - Nel questions Dixon on the notes he has, questions whether they are new notes. Dixon was in court early to make new notes. Nel asks why not a proper report, from an expert. Dixon says he wasn't asked to write up a full report.

11:36 - Court resumes after tea break. Dixon says he's relying on his memory.

11:30 - Seen on Twitter:

11:26 - Dixon confirms to Debora Patta that the Facebook post mentioned earlier is indeed his. Says he understands this is an adversarial situation, but he's had a lot of hate mail.

11:15 - Court adjourns for tea break.

11:12 - Nel moves to the mark on the toilet door, asking Dixon where the piece he cut out of the prosthesis is. At home, apparently.

11:10 - It seems Roger Dixon has a Twitter account, so could well have been following the Pistorius trial.

11:08 - Dixon still speaking about lights in OP's bedroom.

11:05 - What other lights in bedroom? Little blue ones, and electronic equipment in bedroom, says Dixon.

11:04 - Dixon: I don't have a TV or radio, I do not buy newspapers, so I have not been following the case like that. I have my testimony to present. I do not like to be influenced by external factors. I don't have details on State's case. This in response to Nel questioning him about State's case being that the curtains were open.

11:00 - Dixon talking about lights on from other houses. Nel challenges Dixon on why he didn't make notes, make a report.

10:58 - When curtains open, there was light but when they were closed, it was extremely dark in Pistorius's bedroom on 14 April. Except that light came from bathroom. Reasonable visibility. Pistorius's house reasonably unchanged since shooting.

10:57 - Dixon giving more details about going back to Pistorius's house to do tests, observations. Curtains, moonlight are factors.

10:55 - Psychologist Lesley-Anne Pedlar joins Bongani Bingwa in studio to discuss Oscar Pistorius's emotional state throughout Gerrie Nel's cross-examination. Watch here.

10:54 - Nel: I don't agree with you Mr Stipp, I mean Mr Dixon. What time were you there when you took these pictures? Dixon says at 9pm.

10:54 - Dixon: Person standing next to window. If I am standing on ground, looking upwards, so looks higher.

10:52 - Dixon explains taking the pics, window test was to see what neighbours Stipps would have been able to see from outside.

10:50 - Testimony so far has not given me a motive, um, trigger to bring up height difference, says Dixon. I was looking at visibility.

10:49 - 20cm height difference is a significant variable, Nel insists. Why did you not point that out until now?

10:47 - Dixon: Pics were for demonstrative purposes, after Nel questions why they are not exact. "I don't know what his maximum height would be." 

10:46 - Dixon: Tests looked at visibility of person in toilet, bathroom. Person was on knees (lower). Another photo of person standing up. Pistorius, on his stumps, would have been in-between.

10:45 - Nel asks about Pistorius's height on prosthetics. Why didn't you get accurate measurements, Nel asks? How much of accused would have been visible on his stumps.

10:43 - Nel returns to Dixon's visit to crime scene. 25 March this year. Measured brightness of bathroom from outside.

10:42 - Nel: Highly improbable that embedded hair and tissue on toilet lid would be there if she was in position Dixon says she was in.

10:41 - Another pic of magazine rack in toilet is shown.

10:38 - So Defence witness No 3 contradicts OP's version; Defence witness no. 1 agreed with State re seq of shots. (Witness 2 was OP), tweets Alex Crawford.

10:37 - From what I interpreted, magazine rack was in that position, Dixon says. Seems to be different to what Pistorius stated.

10:34 - Dixon lifts and shows a magazine rack to the court, foot of magazine rack is rectangular, shows a rectangular mark on the toilet floor, what he interprets as a bloodstain produced by foot of magazine rack after it was lifted up from where it was positioned.

10:34 - Photo of bloodied toilet cubicle shown, with fragments circled.

10:32 - Dixon wants to answer by using a photograph. Nel interrupts but Barry Roux also interjects.

10:31 - Nel questions whether accused was right or whether Dixon is contradicting his testimony about where the magazine rack was placed.

10:30 - Dixon discusses bullet holes, whether deceased had any involuntary movement.
10:27 - Did body tissue and embedded hair move forward from the wound?

10:25 - Nel questions whether deceased's head was at level of toilet bowl.

10:24 - Bullet hitting head would have prevented any further movement, incapacitating wound. Could also have been involuntary movement or spasms. Can't exclude that there were other movements after she was hit in the head.

10:23 - Picture of toilet bowl is shown. Hair and blood splatter is visible.

10:21 - Dixon talks about the bruise on buttock. Disagrees with pathologist's findings that it was caused by bullet on hip.

10:19 -DStv Premium, Extra, Compact and Compact Plus subscribers can watch The Oscar Pistorius Trial live on Channel 199

10:17 - Deceased was falling downwards, collapsing, then hit magazine rack. She struck the edge of magazine rack which is furthest from the toilet.
10:17 - Nel: For the fourth time, was there anything else that guided you to the position of the head when it was struck by bullet?

10:15 - Confined space also affected position of head, Dixon details his understanding of the falling process.

10:14 - Dixon: Position of head, 1.7m above floor, so deceased was not standing. She had fallen down, head was falling, was in trajectory of bullets.

10:13 - Nel interrupts Dixon's rambling explanation, saying he's not answering the question. Nel: You're not listening, did the position of the head play any role?

10:11 - In my experience a gun pulls up after you shoot first, to explain the pattern of bullet holes in the door.

10:09 - Nel asks about head wound. Dixon: head wound on right hand side of head, almost horizontal. A lot of damage to skull. "I'm just interpreting a sequence of events, with each action there are a lot of variables," he says, adding that he's not a forensic pathologist.
10:08 - Pistorius sitting with his hands over his ears, trying to block out the testimony.

10:07 - Dixon: Steenkamp standing, first bullet hit her hip, at slight angle to door. Impact of bullet broke hip, she lost control of leg and collapsed. Second shot hit her arm, carries on falling, then collapses on ground. "What I can read from pool of blood is bleeding is on right side of body."

10:06 - Dixon: As she's falling down, arm in line with bullet, carries on falling until head is hit.

10:04 - Where was Steenkamp sitting when shot in head? Nel asks if she was on the floor, Dixon says it's likely her head was hit as she was falling down.
10:03 - Nel questions where magazine rack was, Dixon can't quite remember and needs to see a picture. "Memory is a fleeting thing," he admits.

10:02 - Nel asks Dixon about position of bullet holes: Bullet hole A (which hit Steenkamp's hip), B (hit her arm), C (may have hit finger, then wall), D (bullet that hit her head).

9:59 - Dixon details tests on toilet on 8 November, trying to recreate the position for each wound with trajectory of bullets.

9:57 - Dixon explains the light tests, how subjective it is. He took a portable X-ray spectrometer to test ricochet marks in toilet.
9:56- Nel has cooled his tone so far this morning - it's almost respectful, tweets Andrew Harding.

9:54 - Dixon went to Pistorius house on 25 March to do illumination tests, to see how light it was in Pistorius's bedroom.

9:53 - Dixon says this is the first case he has undertaken since leaving police forensic laboratory.

9:52 - "I'm not trying to catch you out," Nel says. Questioning Dixon about visit on 25 March.

9:50 - Dixon telling court how many times he went to Silverwoods Estate in Pretoria, where Pistorius lived. Kept a log book of his travels. Was there on 22, 25 February, 1 March, 27 September, 8 November, 25 March and 14 April.
9:47 - Nel says it sounds like cricket bat sounds were amplified. Dixon says sound engineer may have boosted levels to ensure a clear recording.

9:46 - Dixon says background sounds of gunshots and cricket bat were same, there were frog sounds in the background. He wasn't involved in recording, he just wielded bat to produce sound which could be recorded.

9:45 - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel continues cross-examining defence expert witness Roger Dixon on sounds of gunshots and cricket bats. 

9:44 - Proceedings get under way. Judge Masipa issues stern warning to those in adjacent GC who are apparently unruly, reminds them that the court is an extension of the main court.

9:39 - June Steenkamp is in court, was greeted by a member of the ANC Women's League, according to David Smith.

9:36 - Pistorius family in court, waiting for proceedings to get under way.
9:30 - Roger Dixon put this on Facebook:

9:28 - Roger Dixon patiently waiting in witness box, according to Barry Bateman.

9:25 - Making way for Oscar Pistorius as he enters court; he says a very faint "thank you", tweets David Smith.

9:22 - Day 25 is about to start. There's an air of excited anticipation abt the Easter break beginning tomorrow. Court back May 5, tweets Alex Crawford.

9:15 - Gerrie Nel says only in movies does a bullet fling you back. Myth Busters did their own test! Check the video.

9:05 - Watch a full summary of day 24's court proceedings here:


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9:04 -Defence Attorney @ulrichroux joins @Devi_SG in JHB Studio to consider events in #OscarTrial #OscarPistorius
Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  pistorius trial

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