Pistorius vomits in court at Steenkamp autopsy details

Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:18pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Vanessa Romeo

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Track star Oscar Pistorius, on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, wept and vomited into a bucket in a South African courtroom on Monday after hearing graphic details from her autopsy.

Pathologist Gert Saayman was interrupted several times by the 27-year-old Paralympic and Olympic athlete's sobbing and retching but the defense team argued against an adjournment, saying a break would not improve his state of mind.

Earlier, Judge Thokozile Masipa imposed a broadcast blackout on Saayman's testimony out of respect for Steenkamp's family and to prevent children from accidentally hearing its contents.

"Broadcast would compromise the privacy of the deceased, hurt the interests of the Steenkamps and be against the morals of society," Saayam said when he took the stand to ask for a temporary broadcast blackout of a trial that has so far been shown in its entirety on live television.

Masipa, who has been presiding over the week-long trial, extended the ban to live reporting on Twitter.

Pistorius, nicknamed "Bladerunner" for the special prosthetics he wears in competition, admits he shot 29-year-old Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, but argues that it was a tragic case of mistaken identity and that he thought she was an intruder who had broken in to his luxury Pretoria home.

In his testimony, Saayman confirmed that Steenkamp was hit in the head, arm and hip by three shots fired through the locked door of a toilet cubicle. A fourth round fired by Pistorius missed.

Saayman also disclosed Pistorius was using 'hollow-point' rounds, ammunition designed to disintegrate on impact with tissue to cause maximum damage.   Continued...

 
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts during a testimony at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Bongiwe Mchunu/Pool