A police officer got on his knees during Oscar Pistorius' murder trial today to demonstrate that marks on a bathroom door suggest that Pistorius, a legless paralympian known as Blade Runner, was on his stumps when he used a cricket bat to bash his way into the bathroom.
The officer's testimony would contradict Pistorius' account in his bail application that after shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through the bathroom door, thinking she was an intruder, he went to his bed, put on his prosthetic legs, and then battered his way into the bathroom to reach Steenkamp.
Police built an exact replica of Pistorius' bathroom, complete with toilet, and brought it into court today.
The actual door was hinged onto this structure and Col. Johannes Vermeulen used the markings on this door and Pistorius' cricket bat, which is covered with signatures, scratches and dents, to demonstrate that the height and angle of the bat strikes show Pistorius was on his stumps.
The Colonel physically got onto his knees in court as he placed the bat in the exact same position it struck the door. Members of the police's forensic team used a measuring tape to measure his shoulder height - 1.25 meters - which is Pistorius' shoulder height measure when he is on his stumps. He also testified that whoever made a second strike on the door, was in a different position to when the bat first struck the door. He said he could not determine whether a third mark on the door was caused by the bat.
Pistorius' defense lawyer Barry Roux is expected to attack the police handling of the evidence, claiming there were serious breaches in the evidence management and storage chain. Media reports last year claimed that the door was not properly secured but was kept in the Boschkop Police Station Commander's office for quite some time
Pistorius, 27, is being tried for murder. He could be sentenced to at least 25 years if convicted.
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