Oscar Pistorius trial: Day 28 review

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Football News

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius resumed after a one-day adjournment on Thursday, with the court in Pretoria hearing of how the athlete 'suffered emotionally' following the events that led to the death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.

The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter stands accused of the pre-mediated murder of Ms Steenkamp - who was shot dead at his home - along with the illegal possession of ammunition and two further charges of shooting a gun in public, all of which he denies.

With the athlete's spokeswomen having recently strenuously rejected claims that Mr Pistorius had received acting tips prior to giving evidence, defence witness and probation officer Yvette van Schalkwy - who reportedly asked to testify - today appeared to suggest that he was genuinely upset when she had encountered him previously.

"What I saw from the first time I saw him was a man who was heartbroken... he cried, he was in mourning, he suffered emotionally," she told the court.

The subject of Ms Steenkamp's final meal was also debated earlier on day 28, with anaesthetist professor Christina Lundgren describing claims that her stomach would have been empty if she had indeed eaten earlier that evening - Mr Pistorius alleges that the couple ate at around 19:00 - as 'purely speculation'.

The fact that Ms Steenkamp had food in her stomach at the time she was killed has previously been used by the prosecution to cast doubt upon those timings, with the suggestion that she could feasibly have been awake for a while prior to the shooting.

"One cannot state it as being fact that Ms Steenkamp's stomach would have been empty six hours after eating," said Professor Lundgren, who pointed to a number of varying factors - such as sleep or excercise - that could have impacted upon the process of digestion.

Ballistics expert Thomas Wolmarans also took the stand on Thursday, providing an account of the extent of the damage that can be caused by the expanding bullets used by Mr Pistorius while also suggesting that the trajectory of those bullets could have been altered by the surface of the toilet door through which they were fired.

Wolmarans will resume his evidence on Friday morning.

If found guilty of murder, Mr Pistorious could face life imprisonment. South Africa does not run a jury system akin to the one recognised in the UK, so his fate will ultimately be determined by Judge Thokozile Masipa, who will receive assistance from assessors.

The trial continues.

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