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Graphic photo blunder shocks Pistorius court

Oscar Pistorius reacts during his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, on March 13, 2014. (AFP PHOTO: Alet Pretorius/Pool)

PRETORIA: A South African court saw graphic images Thursday of the bloodstained bathroom in which Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, the first policeman to arrive at the Paralympic and Olympic athlete’s home in an upmarket Pretoria estate, described the grisly sight that greeted him in the early hours of Feb. 14 last year.

During his testimony, photographs of Steenkamp’s face and body were also accidentally shown to the court, upsetting Pistorius, who is charged with murder, and vomited into a bucket for the second time since the start of the trial, now in its second week. He denies the charge.

Colonel Van Rensburg said he saw Steenkamp’s body lying at the bottom of the staircase, covered in towels and black bags. Moments later, he found Pistorius “in tears,”pacing up and down in the kitchen, he said. “I asked him what happened but he didn’t answer me.”

He said a trail of blood led him up the stairs to Pistorius’ bedroom and the bathroom where the athlete shot Steenkamp, whom he claims to have mistaken for an intruder.

The trial continues.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 14, 2014, on page 11.

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Summary

A South African court saw graphic images Thursday of the bloodstained bathroom in which Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, the first policeman to arrive at the Paralympic and Olympic athlete's home in an upmarket Pretoria estate, described the grisly sight that greeted him in the early hours of Feb. 14 last year.

During his testimony, photographs of Steenkamp's face and body were also accidentally shown to the court, upsetting Pistorius, who is charged with murder, and vomited into a bucket for the second time since the start of the trial, now in its second week.


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