Steenkamp's head wound discussed

2014-03-19 13:59
(Sky News)

(Sky News)

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Pretoria - The horrific nature of a gunshot wound Reeva Steenkamp suffered to her head was explained to the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Though couched in scientific jargon, the language blood spatter expert Colonel Ian van der Nest used during Oscar Pistorius's murder trial did little to conceal the violent nature of Steenkamp's death.

"What you have here is a fine splatter, broken pieces of hair together with tissue debris that would be consistent with damage to the head of the deceased," Van der Nest said to questions from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Displayed on screens around the court, was a close up of the inside of the toilet lid in Pistorius's Pretoria home.

He shot and killed Steenkamp through a locked toilet door, apparently believing she was an intruder, on 14 February last year. She was shot in the hip, arm, and head.

Nel asked Van der Nest about the significance of the broken pieces of hair on the inside of the lid.

Blood-soaked hair

The forensics officer said there must have been "significant force" exerted on the hair to break it.

"It is in keeping with a significant particulate event near the toilet, with the head of the deceased coming into contact with the toilet," Van der Nest said, speaking loudly and clearly.

He testified about the two areas of blood, one on the toilet lid, the other on the floor at the base of the toilet.

The latter was "consistent with continued bleeding from the arm". The pattern on the lid of the toilet would have been caused by blood-soaked hair.

After Van der Nest was excused from the stand, cellphone expert Colonel Mike Sale was called to the stand.

The paralympic athlete has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and of 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.

Pistorius has also pleaded not guilty to these two charges.
Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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