Oscar used expanding bullets, court hears

2014-03-10 16:51
An emotional Oscar Pistorius in court. (Sapa)

An emotional Oscar Pistorius in court. (Sapa)

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Pretoria - The bullets fired from Oscar Pistorius's gun which killed Reeva Steenkamp are known as expanding bullets, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

They were designed to cause maximum tissue damage, pathologist Professor Gert Saayman said.

Such a bullet caused major damage, opening up when striking human tissue.

Doctors knew to be careful when dealing with such wounds because they could cut themselves on the projectile.

Pistorius sat in the dock with his head down and hands covering his face.

He closed his ears and gagged as Saayman gave graphical evidence.

Steenkamp had a blue discoloration on her inner right buttocks that could have been caused from the bullet wound to her right hip.

"But no projectile could be found," said Saayman.

There was also a reddish bruise on the right nipple.

The court heard that Steenkamp had a few bruises on her body that were not as a result of the shooting.

Her upper eyelids were blue-reddish and there was soft tissue swelling but no injury to the eyes.

This was not caused by direct trauma but a fracture to the skull.

As Saayman explained that it could have been blood leaking from the skull Pistorius retched loudly.

There were also bruises on the upper part of the right thigh that were not linked to the shooting and behind the left knee and the left shin.

Head injury

Earlier, Saayman told the court that Steenkamp had also sustained wounds to her head, hips and hand.

Dressed in black, Pistorius's sister, Aimee, who sat in the court gallery tried to keep her composure. She fought back tears as she listened to her brother retch.

Pistorius is on trial for Steenkamp's murder.

He shot her through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder.

The State alleges that it was premeditated murder.

Attending the proceedings was Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

She sat in the front of the court gallery amid women clad in ANC Women's League uniform.

They were sitting among Steenkamp's friends.

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

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