Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp 'crossed her arms above her head to protect herself' from bullets fired through locked toilet door

 

Pretoria

Reeva Steenkamp had her arms crossed above her head as she tried to protect herself from bullets fired by Oscar Pistorius through a locked door, his murder trial heard.

Police ballistic expert Captain Christiaan Mangena told Pretoria's High Court the model and law graduate was standing in a toilet cubicle when she was hit in the right hip by the first of four bullets.

She then fell back and was struck in the right arm and the head as she tried to cross arms to protect herself from the bullets. She was facing the door when boyfriend Pistorius opened fire.

“That bullet penetrated and broke the hip bone of the deceased. If the hip bone is broken completely, it causes her to fall down, she would not have been able to stand. She fell down and moved backwards,” he told the court

Captain Mangena said the bullet that struck her head broke into two fragments, causing extensive damage. He said the second shot missed Ms Steenkamp, hitting the cubicle instead and causing it to break into pieces, bruising her back. He said he could not determine the order of the last two shots.

Captain Mangena said that Ms Steenkamp then fell on top of a magazine rack in the bathroom, in a seated position, from where one subsequent bullet missed her, before a fourth hit her in the head, and killed her.

 

In highly aggressive exchanges, Pistorius’s defence counsel Barry Roux repeatedly suggested wounds on Ms Steenkamp’s back came from the magazine rack, not from secondary bullet fragments, and that their own expert analysis will show that. Captain Mangena, a respected ballistics expert with 20 years experience, stated more than ten times, that “I disagree.”

“But you didn’t test it, did you?” Mr Roux asked him.

“No I didn’t, but if a test has been done, show me the results of those tests, and I will see if I agree,” he replied.

“But you didn’t test it yourself, did you?”

“No, I didn’t,” he said, but added: “I have done a lot of cases, and a lot of crime scenes, and that is my assessment.”

Captain Mangena’s account of events are in agreement with the pathologist who performed Ms Steenkamp’s post mortem examination - that she would almost certainly have screamed after sustaining the first non-fatal wounds, yet Pistorius carried on shooting.

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'   
DAY 6:    PISTORIUS VOMITS IN COURT AFTER AUTOPSY DETAILS SHOWN  
DAY 7:   PISTORIUS "F***ING MAD' AFTER SHOOTING INCIDENT  
DAY 8:   PISTORIUS 'STANDING ON HIS STUMPS'  
DAY 9:   PISTORIUS SICK AGAIN AFTER STEENKAMP'S BODY SHOWN 
DAY 10:  PISTORIUS 'COVERED IN BLOOD' AFTER SHOOTING

Reeva Steenkamp’s mother June sat through long hours of testimony detailing her daughter’s wounds, and the trail of her blood through her boyfriend’s apartment as he carried her body down the stairs.

Pistorius may be called to testify as early as the middle of next week, after State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel dramatically requested the court be adjourned until Monday while he "reconsiders his case" and said the state is likely to conclude its case by the middle of next week.

Judge Thokozile Masipa granted the adjournment, with Roux raising no objections “on the understanding” that the state would conclude soon.

It means the trial is likely to be finished far earlier than had been anticipated. There had been suggestions Pistorius may not testify until the end of April.

When asked whether whether Pistorius would appear first, Mr Roux replied “We don’t know yet”, though it seems unlikely he wouldn’t have already decided on this.

Mr Nel said he would be calling another “four or five witnesses”, which means that around 80 of the 107 witnesses on his list will not be called to give evidence at all.

At the trial's start, the athlete 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 in prison.

The case continues.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
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
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
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