Oscar Pistorius trial: Day 24 review

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Oscar Pistorius was back in court today.
Oscar Pistorius was back in court today..

The murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius continued today, with forensic expert and defence witness Roger Dixon continuing to give evidence to the High Court in Pretoria.

Mr Dixon - on what was another tough day for the assembled family and friends of the late Reeva Steenkamp - gave rather graphic descriptions of the injuries sustained by the deceased on the night that she was shot dead inside Mr Pistorius' home, at one stage even describing the damage done to her arm as like an "instant amputation".

The witness went on to demonstrate the locations at which the bullets entered Ms Steenkamp's body, insisting that the shape of the wounds would have been different if the victim had been facing the door, as the prosecution had initially alleged that she was during Mr Pistorius' recent testimony.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel - who appeared to leave no stone unturned during that was a particularly gruelling cross-examination of the defendant earlier this week - then proceeded to provide a significant challenge to Mr Dixon's credibility by revealing that he was not currently registered with a recognised forensic body.

Mr Dixon also conceded that he had not been able to use the exact same ammunition for testing as was used in the shooting, with the prosecution also going on to claim that he had given evidence without first properly looking at the post-mortem report.

A recording of gunshots was also played in court during Mr Dixon's testimony in an attempt to demonstrate the similarities between those noises and that of a cricket bat striking a door, with the witness agreeing with the defence that Ms Steenkamp had been shot four times in succession.

Earlier on day 24 it was decided that, after tomorrow's proceedings draw to a close, that the case would be adjourned for a fortnight until May 5 following a request from the prosecution that was not objected to by the defence.

Mr Pistorius - a former global icon who has won six Paralympic gold medals during a glittering track career - stands accused of the premeditated murder of girlfriend Ms Steenkamp as well as the illegal possession of ammunition and two further charges of shooting a gun in public - all of which he denies.

South Africa does not run a jury system, so the fate of the accused ultimately lies with judge Thokozile Masipa, who will consult with her assessors.

The trial continues.

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