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 They are so devastating in their impact on human flesh that they were withdrawn in South Africa and later re-marketed as Ranger.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
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn on modelling, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
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

C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
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