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Pistorius smashed door ‘on stumps’

Oscar Pistorius on March 7

LIVE: Coverage of murder trial of Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he smashed a locked door to reach his girlfriend, an expert told his murder trial.

The forensic evidence contradicted the athlete’s claim that he was wearing his artificial limbs at the time.

The damaged bathroom door is in the court to be examined during the trial.

Mr Pistorius denies intentionally killing Reeva Steenkamp in February last year, saying he fired after mistaking her for a burglar.

There is also a toilet cubicle in court, says the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani at the court in Pretoria.

It is a replica of the room in which Ms Steenkamp was shot.

Forensic evidence on the location from which shots were fired, how they were grouped and their and their trajectory is being presented to the court.

Cross-examining, Mr Pistorius’ defence team asked forensic expert Police Colonel Johan Vermeulen to kneel and lift his feet, which caused him to wobble.

The defence team claimed that Mr Pistorius therefore would not have been able to balance on his stumps and break down the door using a cricket bat.

Col Vermeulen argued that if Mr Pistorius was balanced enough to fire a gun, he could also break down a door with a bat.

The forensics expert argued that the angle and location of the marks on the door suggested that they had been caused by someone much shorter than him.


“The marks on the door are actually consistent with him not having his legs on and I suspect they must be similar to the height that he was when he fired the shots,” he told the court.

Police Col Vermeulen demonstrates hitting the door with the bat

Police Col Johan Vermeulen was asked to demonstrate hitting the door with a cricket bat

The prosecution argues that Mr Pistorius hit the door with the cricket bat before the shots were fired, but the defence claims it was the other way round.

The trial is now halfway through its second week, and is expected to feature over 100 witnesses.

Fabricated evidence

Earlier on Wednesday, a friend of Mr Pistorius claimed that the star had driven at 200 km/h (124mph) and that he had taken a picture of the speedometer to prove it.

The defence team alleged that Darren Fresco was himself driving at the time and had therefore fabricated evidence.

On Tuesday, Mr Pistorius’ defence team questioned a pathologist’s finding that his girlfriend had eaten less than two hours before he killed her.

This contradicts the athlete’s account that the pair had been in bed for several hours before the shooting.

Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door

The state is seeking to convince the court that Mr Pistorius and Ms Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, and reality TV star, had an argument before the athlete fired the shots that killed her.

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 dubbed the “blade runner”, could face life imprisonment.

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