Oscar: court shown crime scene photos
A pair of white sandals and an overnight bag were photographed to the left of Oscar Pistorius's bed by police probing the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Family and friends of Oscar Pistorius attend his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Thursday, 13 March 2014. The Paralympian pleaded not guilty to murder, although he admits killing Reeva Steenkamp by shooting her through a locked bathroom door. He mistook her for a burglar in his house, saying he made a tragic but understandable mistake. The murder trial has been compared to that of the OJ Simpson case in the United States 20 years ago. Picture: Alet Pretorius/Pool
The pictures were shown during the testimony of former policeman Giliam van Rensburg in Pistorius’s murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.
Van Rensburg described a picture of a silver handgun found lying on a grey towel, with a cellphone underneath it and blood.
“The safety clip had been removed. That firearm as it is lying there, it is ready to fire,” said Van Rensburg, the first policeman at the scene on the morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.
Van Rensburg, commander of Boschkop police station in Pretoria at the time of the shooting, said at first he thought there were three cellphones on the scene but then realised there was a back and a front of one dark coloured cellphone.
A white coloured cellphone was pointed out to him later and it was photographed lying on the floor over a smear of blood.
These items and their positioning are about to go under scrutiny after Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the murder of Steenkamp.
He said that when he fired four shots through the toilet door of his bathroom, he thought there was an intruder in the house.
When he realised Steenkamp was not in bed the double amputee put on his “legs” and went to the door with a cricket bat to bash it down and free her.
The first doctor on the scene found him on the ground floor next to a fatally wounded Steenkamp.
Thursday afternoon was spent with Van Rensburg and prosecutor Gerrie Nel going through pictures taken at the crime scene.
This started with the trail of blood drops and smears between the bathroom and the entrance hall of his house.
The pictures also showed smaller details of everyday life, such as the row of toiletries in the bathroom, mouthwash, and a small red vanity case on the side of the corner bath.
A series showed packets of syringes, boxes of medication, and a lunch box which contained injection needles.
Earlier pictures had shown Pistorius’s collection of sunglasses, kept in a showcase, his eight wristwatches which he kept on top of a speaker, an air rifle, and a baseball bat which he kept in his room.
A pale blue duvet was on the floor next to a pair of jeans.
Van Rensburg, who resigned from the police in December 2013, spoke in Afrikaans as he took the court through all the photographs.
Pistorius’s defence counsel Barry Roux, SC, is known to closely scrutinise the finest details of descriptions made in court as well as his handling of evidence during cross-examination.
A photograph was shown of the toilet room itself, with patches of blood on the floor.
Pistorius followed proceedings intently, making notes, wearing his spectacles.
He is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp in his home on February 14 last year.
He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.