Court hears of moment the South African athlete tried to reach his dead girlfriend.
A court in Pretoria heard that Oscar Pistorius, the gold-medal winning sprinter accused of murdering his girlfriend, was on his stumps when he tried to break through his bathroom door to reach Reeva Steenkamp.
Police Colonel Johannes Vermeulen told the court told the court the court the marks on the door through which Steenkamp was shot, were consistent with a person swinging a cricket bat, the item used by Pistorius used to break the door, from a lower height.
“The marks on the door are actually consistent with him not having his legs on and I suspect they must be similar to the height that he was when he fired the shots,” Col Vermeulen, a forensics expert, told Pretoria’s High Court.
In Pistorius’ bail application he said after he shot through the door, at what he thought was a burglar, he rushed back into his bedroom to call for help and put on his prosthetic legs.
The testimony if Pistorius was on his stumps or his legs shapes as a crucial battle for both the prosecution and defence teams early in the trial.
During cross-examination, defence counsel Barry Roux argued with Vermeulen that his client struck the door with a bent back, making his original version that he was on his prosthetic legs appear to be true.
However, Vermeulen insisted that was an “unnatural and uncomfortable position” for Pistorius to be in.
To which Roux quickly countered: “That’s an unnatural position for you.”.
Roux then asked Vermeulen to get onto the floor in front of a recreation of the bathroom from Pistorius’ house and life his feet, causing him to lose his balance.
Roux used the experiment to show the court that his client could not have been on his stumps and hit the door with enough force with the bat to break it down.
Vermeulen responded by saying if Pistorius managed to shoot through the door without his prosthetic legs on, he could have smashed the door on his stumps. He insisted that the marks were made by someone much shorter than him.
To which the defence asked of the forensic expert, if the mark at the bottom of the door could have been made by the Parlympian’s prosthetic legs, to which Vermeulen said it was possible.
The defence claim that Pistorius shot through the bathroom door as he feared a burglar was inside of his home, while the prosecution said the athlete discharged the handgun into the toilet door knowing that Steenkamp was inside, after the pair argued earlier that night.