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Court shown Pistorius scene photos

 Oscar Pistorius sits next to his Barry Roux on March 17 2014

LIVE: Coverage of murder trial of Oscar Pistorius. May include graphic evidence

Photographs of the bloody scene at the house of Oscar Pistorius have been shown to court at the South African Olympic athlete’s trial in Pretoria.

His defence team say the police crime scene photographer failed to label his pictures correctly.

Mr Pistorius denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, saying he thought she was an intruder.

The prosecution says he intentionally shot the model after an argument at his house on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Photographer Bennie Van Staden was being cross-examined for the second day by defence lawyer Barry Roux on details of when and where he took some photos and what he moved at the home of Mr Pistorius.

His testimony continued after the start of Tuesday’s proceedings, the 12th day of the trial in the capital, was delayed by more than an hour after the defence team asked him to produce discs containing master copies of photographs.


Mr Van Staden’s images included the bloodied cricket bat Mr Pistorius used to smash open the bathroom door as well as blood-soaked towels and two mobile phones.

He was called to the scene at around 04:50 local time (06:50 GMT) and took pictures of the accused and the deceased, as well as pictures of the rooms of the house.

The police photographer rejected claims that his picture timeline was jumbled or unclear, saying that each of the photographs had the date and time it was taken on the picture.

He also described nine photographs that he took of Mr Pistorius soon after the shooting, with the athlete wearing blood-soaked shorts in the garage of his home.

Rules on gun use

On Monday, the trial heard from a firearm specialist who said the athlete had good knowledge of the rules on gun use and dealing with intruders.

Mr Pistorius had bought a gun from Sean Patrick Rens, a firearms assessor, in 2012 and ordered six more guns from him – but the order was cancelled a month after Ms Steenkamp was killed.

Oscar Pistorius arriving at the court in PretoriaOscar Pistorius scored top marks in gun law competency tests

Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door

Mr Rens read out a competency questionnaire that Mr Pistorius had completed before he could be issued with a firearm.

He scored top marks in these tests, which included questions on the legal issues around shooting intruders.

One of the questions in the test was: “There is no security gate between you and the burglars. They are armed and they advance towards you. Can you discharge your firearm because you fear for your life?”

Mr Pistorius replied “Yes”.

Another was: “Explain the legal requirements when using a firearm for private use”, to which he answered: “Attack must be against you, it must be unlawful, it must be against persons.”

Answering the final question on the importance of target identification, Mr Pistorius said: “Always know your target and what lies behind.”


3D impression of Pistorius house






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  • 1. Balcony



    Mr Pistorius said in his statement at the start of the trial that he woke in the early hours and walked on his stumps to the balcony, pulled in two fans, closed the sliding door and drew curtains. He said that shortly before he had spoken to Reeva, who was in bed beside him.

    He said he rejected prosecution claims that a witness heard arguing coming from the house before the shooting.

  • 2. Bathroom noise


    Mr Pistorius said he heard the bathroom window sliding open and believed that an intruder, or intruders, had entered the bathroom through a window which was not fitted with burglar bars.

    “Unbeknown to me, Reeva must have gone to the toilet in the bathroom at the time I brought in the fans,” he said.

    Mr Pistorius said he approached the bathroom armed with his firearm, to defend himself and his girlfriend, believing Ms Steenkamp was still in bed.

  • 3. Shooting


    Both sides agree four bullets were fired. Ms Steenkamp was hit three times.

    Mr Pistorius said he fired his weapon after hearing a noise in the toilet which he thought was the intruder coming out of the toilet to attack him and Ms Steenkamp.

    He said he was in a fearful state, knowing he was on his stumps and unable to run away or properly defend himself.

    Mr Pistorius said he rejected claims that he was on his prostheses when he shot at the door.

    A witness told the trial she woke to hear a woman screaming and a man shouting for help. She said that after the screams she heard four shots.

  • 4. Bedroom


    At his bail hearing last year, Mr Pistorius said he went back to the bedroom after shooting at the toilet door, then noticed Ms Steenkamp was not in bed.

    Mr Pistorius said he then realised she could have been in the toilet.

  • 5. Toilet door


    Mr Pistorius said he went back to the bathroom but the toilet was locked, so he returned to the bedroom, pulled on his prosthetic legs, turned on the lights before bashing in the toilet door with a cricket bat.

    Forensics expert Johannes Vermeulen told the court that the height of the marks on the door caused by the cricket bat suggest Mr Pistorius was on his stumps at the time.

  • 6. Emergency calls


    Mr Pistorius’s defence team has said he then called security at the gated housing complex and a private paramedic service before carrying Ms Steenkamp downstairs.

    But security guard Pieter Baba told the trial he had called Mr Pistorius first, in response to neighbours’ reports of gunfire, and not the other way round.

    He said Mr Pistorius had told him: “Everything is fine,” before calling him back a few minutes later and crying down the phone.

The trial is expected to call on more than 100 witnesses. It had been set to last for three weeks, but looks likely to be extended.

The state is seeking to convince the court that Mr Pistorius deliberately shot Ms Steenkamp – a 29-year-old model, reality TV star and law graduate – following an argument.

There are no juries at trials in South Africa, and his fate will ultimately be decided by the judge, assisted by two assessors.

If found guilty, the 27-year-old – a national sporting hero and double amputee dubbed the “blade runner” because of the prosthetic limbs he wears to race – could face life imprisonment.

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