Oscar Pistorius week 3: Athlete 'broke all the rules' the night he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead

 

Pretoria

“Know your target and what lies behind,” read Oscar Pistorius’s handwriting on his Firearms Competency Certificate, which was shown to the court at the start of the third week of his murder trial.

Whether he did or didn’t know what lay behind his toilet door is the only real matter at hand. But certainly, he knew the rules.

Police ballistics expert Captain Christian Mangena painted a gruesome picture of Reeva Steenkamp’s final moments behind that locked toilet door, with bullets fragmenting and ricocheting, and splinters of door and fragments of her own bones causing her further injuries, before a bullet struck her in the head and killed her.

State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel shocked the court on Wednesday lunchtime, by requesting an adjournment for the rest of the week, ‘ in the interests of justice’, and indicated he will call only ‘four or five’ more witnesses, and the state will conclude its case early next week.

What happens next is uncertain. When the state is done, the defence will begin its case, and if Pistorius is to be called to testify, he is obligated to do so at the start, but his team have indicated they don’t know yet whether Pistorius will appear next week.

Meanwhile, the athlete has put the house where he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on the market, hoping for a quick sale in the region of £300,000 to meet his rising legal costs. He has never returned there since the shooting on Valentine’s Day last year.

Some South African legal experts have suggested that the state may not make a case sufficient to prove the athlete’s guilt ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, before the defence has even begun, and as such they may seek to have the case thrown out. It seems unlikely such a request would be granted.

In her final moments, Reeva Steenkamp had her arms crossed around her head, as she tried to protect herself from bullets fired by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius through the locked cubicle door, the athlete's murder trial heard.

READ MORE:  HOW PISTORIUS WENT FROM HERO TO GUN-LOVING HOTHEAD 
OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL WEEK 1: ATHLETE PLEADS NOT GUILTY
OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL WEEK 2: ATHLETE SICK IN COURT
PISTORIUS FORCED TO SELL PRETORIA MANSION

Police ballistics expert Captain Christian Mangena painted a gruesome picture of Ms Steenkamp's death inside Mr Pistorius's toilet, with bullets fragmenting and ricocheting, and splinters of door and fragments of her own bones causing her further injuries, before a bullet struck her in the head and killed her.

Captain Mangena said she was facing the door when Mr Pistorius opened fire. “That [first] 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,” 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 and causing it to break into pieces, bruising her back. He could not determine the order of the last two shots. Defence counsel Barry Roux suggested wounds on Ms Steenkamp's back came from a magazine rack.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine