Oscar's bedroom door under scrutiny

2014-03-18 13:54
Police photographer Bennie van Staden testifies at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial

Police photographer Bennie van Staden testifies at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial

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Pretoria - A police photographer did not initially take photos of damage to Oscar Pistorius's main bedroom door as he intended to do so later, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Advocate Barry Roux for the Paralympian, was cross-examining police photographer Warrant Officer Barend van Staden during Pistorius's murder trial.

The athlete shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a closed toilet door in his Pretoria house on 14 February last year, apparently believing she was an intruder.

Photos of the main bedroom door, displayed on screens in court, show a large crack at the bottom of the door near a locking mechanism, a hole about 4mm in diameter through the door, and marks on the edge of the door.

Another photo shows a splinter, about 5cm long according to a ruler placed on the door when the photo was taken, torn off the door.

The hole is on the outside of the bedroom door.

"Why did you not take a photo? You were right there?" Roux asked.

Van Staden replied: "I used my discretion to take the photos... it [the damage] can't be destroyed or removed."

He said he wanted to first focus on taking photos of evidence that could be moved, such as the panels of the toilet door lying on the bathroom floor.

Van Staden is attached to the photography section of the Local Criminal Record Centre. He had been with the centre for 12 years, and in the police for 21.

Pistorius has been charged with premeditated murder and contravening the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On 30 September 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

The court adjourned for lunch.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

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