Gasps as pic of Reeva’s body shownComment on this story
Pretoria - As Oscar Pistorius's defence team continued to highlight the flaws in the police investigation, the High Court in Pretoria was shocked by an accidental screening of an image of Reeva Steenkamp's body.
While looking for an image of Pistorius's prosthetic leg from the night of the murder, the court screens flashed images of the crime scene, one showing a body that drew a few gasps from the gallery.
Throughout proceedings, Colonel Johannes Vermeulen had admitted that the crime scene, and the door that remains a key piece of evidence in the trial, had been contaminated.
Vermeulen was originally called to testify in the murder trial to explain how the athlete had tried to break down the toilet door after having shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.
On Wednesday, Vermeulen said that based on the height and position of marks on the bathroom door, Pistorius had to have been on his stumps when trying to break the door.
This contradicted Pistorius's version of events where he said that he had been on his stumps when shooting at an alleged intruder through the door, but had put on his prosthesis before trying to break the door down.
On Wednesday, defence advocate Barry Roux managed to get Vermeulen to admit that the door had been contaminated, with marks appearing on the door weeks after the incident, a bloody police footprint on the door, and missing chunks of wood from one of the panels.
On Thursday morning, Roux suggested that one of the marks on the door had been caused by Pistorius trying to kick it down with his prosthetics.
But Vermeulen continued to argue that one of the marks possibly caused by the prosthetic foot could have been from Pistorius trampling over the panel that had come loose from the door.
Roux presented an image of the prosthetics showed blood stains down the right leg.
Vermeulen then said he did not do a comparison of the mark with the legs because at the time, he did not believe the mark had been caused by a shoe or foot.
The defence's own analyst and Vermeulen's former commander, Roger Dickson, had analysed the foot and door, linking them.
It was then that Roux asked about inventory taken from the scene, and that Pistorius had noticed a box of watches was taken from his home.
Vermeulen said he knew nothing of this crime.