Oscar Pistorius was on his stumps when he smashed down a locked toilet door to reach his shot girlfriend, a South African police forensic expert said on Wednesday, countering the Paralympic star’s assertion he was wearing his prosthetic legs at the time.
Wielding the cricket bat in his hands, police colonel Johannes Vermuelen knelt down before swinging it at the wooden door in a court reconstruction to show the angle of the marks and to suggest they could only have been made by someone much shorter than him.
The 27-year-old double amputee is charged with the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot through the locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day last year.
Prosecutors want to prove that it was premeditated killing, but Pistorius says he was defending himself from what he thought was an intruder who had broken into his gated-community home in the capital of the crime-ridden country.
At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius justified shooting because of the extreme vulnerability he felt because of his disability. However, in his affidavit he stated that he had put on his prostheses before smashing down the door.
Vermuelen disagreed. “The marks on the door are actually consistent with him not having his legs on and I suspect they must be similar to the height that he was when he fired the shots,” he told the court.