Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem

Pistorius breaks down during 'extremely graphic' recollection of girlfriend's autopsy

Oscar Pistorius repeatedly threw up into a bucket as his murder trial heard graphic evidence from the pathologist who performed the post-mortem on the body of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Twice the sound of Pistorius’s vomiting caused events to be temporarily suspended during state pathologist Professor Saayman's testimony, as the smell of sick spread around Pretoria's High Court.

The autopsy revealed the 29-year old model was shot in the right hip, the right elbow, and the right temple from a 9mm pistol through a locked lavatory door.

Prof Saayman suggested Ms Steenkamp would not have drawn breath for long after the final bullet hit her head.

The bullets that pierced her body were known as Black Talon. They are so devastating in their impact on human flesh that they were withdrawn in South Africa and later re-marketed as Ranger. The Black Talon was designed to "penetrate and then mushroom" on impact, causing extensive damage.

Prof Saayman also said that the vegetable matter food found in her stomach was likely to have been ingested within two hours of her death at 3am, which appears to contradict Pistorius’s claim that the couple went to bed at around 10pm.

He confirmed Ms Steenkamp was wearing a sleeveless black top and grey Nike shorts when she was shot.

Oscar Pistorius holds his hands to his face as he sits in the dock during day 6 of his murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria Oscar Pistorius holds his hands to his face as he sits in the dock during day 6 of his murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria Earlier, Judge Masipa ruled that Prof Saayman’s evidence should not be broadcast or tweeted, in accordance with the pathologist’s own wishes, as the athlete's murder trial entered its second week.

He had only been speaking for a matter of minutes when Pistorius's defence counsel Barry Roux requested court be adjourned because: "Mr Pistorius has been sick".

Both sets of lawyers had argued for the broadcast of proceedings to be suspended while the court heard what was expected to be "extremely graphic" testimony.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that Prof Saayman had "ethical concerns" over broadcasting details of the autopsy. Mr Nel said reporting restrictions were needed to "respect the decency" of Ms Steenkamp, her family and friends.

Prof Saayman told the court that "the graphic details have the potential to damage the dignity of the deceased", and broadcasting his testimony would "harm the rights of the remaining friends and relatives of the deceased".

"It goes against the good morals of society to make this information available, to unsuspecting members of the public, including children and other vulnerable people," he added.

Prof Saayman’s testimony will still be filmed, and the broadcasters are hopeful that its “benign parts” may be broadcast tonight or tomorrow morning. South African broadcasters fought a lengthy legal battle for the right to broadcast the murder trial.

Earlier, Pieter Baba, a security guard at the gated Silverwoods estate where Pistorius lived, insisted the athlete told him "everything is fine" in the minutes after the shooting of Ms Steenkamp.

Mr Baba said he phoned Pistorius following reports of a shooting in the early hours on Valentine's Day last year, and not the other way round, as the athlete's defence team, led by Barry Roux, had previously suggested.

During his cross-examination, Pistorius' lawyer challenged his version of events showing the court Mr Baba's police statement where he said Pistorius told him he was "OK"- instead of "everything is fine."

Mr Roux suggested he has evidence, including athlete's outgoing call records, security's incoming phone records and police documents, proving Pistorius called security first but could not speak because he was crying.

Mr Baba insisted: "I'm the one who called first."

"His call was first and your call was second," Mr Roux told the court. "'I put proof in front of you that Mr Pistorius called first."

Mr Baba stood by his testimony arguing that, if Pistorius had called him first, he "would have known something was wrong". Instead, he claims he fainted as a result of the "shock" when he arrived at Pistorius's house and saw the athlete carrying Ms Steenkamp downstairs.

Read more: Day 1: Pistorius pleads not guilty
Day 2: Reeva Steenkamp's brain severely damaged
Day 3: Pistorius asked friend to 'take blame in gun incident'
Day 4: Neighbour heard shots, woman screaming
Day 5: Pistorius 'cheated on me with Reeva'

On Friday, Pistorius' former girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, painted a picture of a man who "always" carried a gun with him, was often angry and unfaithful. His lawyer argued the pair were no longer a couple when Pistorius started seeing Ms Steenkamp and suggested Ms Taylor was unfaithful too.

She told the court the South African star was worried about intruders breaking into his house, but, crucially, he would usually wake her up whenever he heard suspicious noises.

Ms Taylor also recounted an incident where  Pistorius allegedly fired at a traffic light after he and a friend, Darren Fresco, the same man who passed him a gun that discharged under a table a restaurant last year, were stopped for speeding, and became very angry with a police officer.

Last week, Pistorius pleaded not guilty of murdering Ms Steenkamp, claiming he shot her in a case of mistaken identity thinking she was an intruder.

Prosecutors argue he intentionally shot and killed  his girlfriend following a domestic dispute. If convicted of murder he will almost certainly receive a life sentence, with a minimum term of 25 years.

The case continues.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam