Expert explains blood trail to court

Reeva Steenkamp’s blood left an s-shaped trail in Oscar Pistorius’s house caused by an arterial spurt, the judge in his murder trial was told on Wednesday (19/03/2014).

“The serpentine or ‘s’ shape – that’s typical of what you would expect in an arterial spurting pattern,” blood spatter analyst Colonel Ian van der Nest told the High Court in Pretoria.

When Judge Thokozile Masipa asked for a definition of arterial, he replied: “arterial, from an artery”.

He began by explaining that the blood residue found on an armchair in a downstairs sitting room at Pistorius’s home in Silver Woods estate, would have come from upstairs.

“The open area above the landing makes the area accessible to arterial staining if there is someone with an arterial spurt in that area,” he said.

Walking through the house on February 15, when his analysis was conducted, he observed a combination of “contact staining, drip staining as well as arterial spurt”.

He said one of the notes made at Steenkamp’s post mortem was that she had long hair and that her hair was blood-soaked.

Her grey shorts were also saturated with blood.

This was the main cause of the “drip trail” he found, he said.

Pistorius has admitted to shooting through the door of the toilet cubicle in his bathroom. He said in his bail application he thought there was an intruder in the house when he fired the shots.

He realised afterwards that it was Steenkamp, who was spending the night there. He broke into the toilet and took her downstairs.

The paralympic athlete has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contravening the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. – Sapa

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