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 They are so devastating in their impact on human flesh that they were withdrawn in South Africa and later re-marketed as Ranger.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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Junior Research Analyst - Recruitment Resourcer

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...

Biomass Sales Consultant

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game