Oscar Pistorius trial: The accused vomits at the sight of his dead girlfriend's face - but the trial of the century continues ever on
It flashed up for less than a tenth of a second, but the damage was done and the reaction instant.
As the state prosecutor asked for picture 162 to be shown to be displayed on the evidence screens, the computer had to zip through more than a hundred photographs of the scene at Oscar Pistorius’s house on Valentine’s Day to get there. One of the screens is just two feet or so in front of the face of the athlete in the witness box, and as a picture flashed of Reeva Steenkamp’s face in close up after death, the accused was instantly and loudly sick on the floor. A green bucket was hurriedly fetched, but it was too late.
Later, Mr Pistorius’s screen was turned off.
On day nine of the Olympian’s trial for the murder of his girlfriend, the model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, Colonel Giliam Schoombie van Rensburg, the first police officer to arrive at the apartment, guided the court through a long series of previously unpublished photographs, showing in great detail the scene at the athlete’s house.
“On our arrival, there was an ambulance that had its rear doors open – on the right hand side of the road, stationary,” he said.
“I approached the house, there were security officers also there. After I'd gone through, on the left hand side of the stairs there was a body.
"The body was covered with towels and black bags and there was blood which could be seen there."
He said a female paramedic approached and told him the woman had been declared dead on their arrival.
"The paramedic showed me there was a head wound, a wound on the right hand side of the waist, a wound on the right arm above the elbow,” Col Schoombie van Rensburg said.
"In the kitchen, there stood the accused, a white male who was made known to me as Oscar Pistorius.
"He was very emotional at that stage and then I asked him what happened. He didn't answer. He was in tears.”
The photographs showed spots of blood on the floor and the walls of Pistorius’s stairs and hallway. In the bedroom an empty gun holster lay to the left hand side of the bed, the implication being that this was where Pistorius removed the gun. It is remarkably near the claims he believed Ms Steenkamp to still be sleeping.
Other pictures showed deep pools of blood on the bathroom floor, and large parts of the demolished door.
The police colonel found the gun lying on top of a grey towel. “ The hammer was back,” he said. “It was cocked and ready to go.”
Earlier the court heard more from Lt Col Johannes Vermuelen, the forensic analyst who carried out the analysis of the cricket bat marks on the toilet door. Pistorius claims he struck it with his cricket bat after putting on his prosthetic legs, but Lt Col Vermuelen insists the marks are too low down.
He has been criticised by the defence for “not bothering” to analyse other marks on the door, which Pistorius claims were made through his failed attempts to kick it open with his prostheses.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked him it was possible Pistorius could have kicked the door before shooting through it, and before hitting it with a cricket bat, perhaps to "to scare someone?” To which Lt Col Vermuelen replied “it’s possible.”
“There is no timeline for that mark,” he said.
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.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£65K - £75K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Director...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: You will need to be able to follow instr...
£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global wholesaler and reta...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This organization is one of the founding names...