Reeva flushed the toilet, expert claims

2014-10-07 11:12
(Sky News)

(Sky News)

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Johannesburg - A private forensic investigator who studied crime scene photographs believes that Reeva Steenkamp flushed the toilet moments before she was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.

However, this potentially valuable evidence was not presented during Pistorius's murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court because it could potentially have undermined both the State and the defence's cases, Eyewitness News reports.

Pistorius was found not guilty of Steenkamp's murder but guilty of culpable homicide last month. He will return to court next Monday for sentencing.

Doubt

According to EWN, evidence that Steenkamp flushed the toilet would have cast doubt on Pistorius's claim that there was an intruder in the bathroom - but also have undermined the State's case that Steenkamp hid in the toilet following an argument.

Private forensic investigator Cobus Steyl studied photographs of the blood in the toilet bowl and believes that water from the end of the flush cycle altered the blood.

The Star reported that Steyl believes Steenkamp flushed the toilet shortly before being shot and then covered the toilet bowl with blood. The end of the flush cycle washed away some of the blood. Had the toilet been flushed after she was shot, more of the blood and other debris in the toilet bowl would have been washed away.

According to The Star, Steyl said a similar flow pattern could be produced by placing a dye in the cistern and flushing it.

During the trial, ballistics expert Thomas "Wollie" Wolmarans testified in May that Steenkamp could not have been sitting on the toilet seat when the shots were fired, Sapa reported at the time.

Blood spatter analyst Colonel Ian van der Nest testified in March that the wounds to Steenkamp's head and right arm caused arterial spurting. He analysed the toilet seat and found the blood there indicated her head came in contact with the toilet seat. He also said debris inside the toilet lid could have been brain and skin matter, according to Sapa.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel stated during the trial that Steenkamp was standing in front of the toilet door speaking to Pistorius when she was shot, Sapa also reported.

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

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