Pistorius forced to look at 'exploded' head of girlfriend

Wed Apr 9, 2014 12:18pm EDT
 
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By Joe Brock

PRETORIA (Reuters) - A South African prosecutor forced Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday to look at a forensic photograph that showed the head of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after it was blown open by a hollow-point bullet fired by the Olympic and Paralympic track star.

In a dramatic opening to his cross-examination of Pistorius, prosecutor Gerrie Nel made him admit he had killed Steenkamp then later confronted him with the photograph showing the side and back of her skull, her hair matted with blood and brains.

"Have a look there. I know you don't want to because you don't want to take responsibility," Nel said to gasps from the packed public gallery.

"Take responsibility for what you have done," Nel persisted, his voice rising almost to a shout.

Pistorius responded by burying his head in his hands in the witness stand, rocking from side to side and weeping.

The double amputee sprinter, once revered across the world for his triumph over adversity, faces life in prison if convicted in the Pretoria High Court of the murder of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model.

His defense hinges on his contention that he thought he was firing at an intruder when he shot Steenkamp through a toilet door in his luxury Pretoria home on February 14 - Valentine's Day - last year.

"ZOMBIE STOPPER"   Continued...

 
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives ahead of his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko