Prosecution shuts out Pistorius' forensic expert

Prosecution shuts out Pistorius' forensic expert

The prosecution on Tuesday derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances in which Reeva Steenkamp died.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel sought to prove that forensic geologist Roger Dixon was out of his depth in testifying about the lighting, sound and physical evidence inside Pistorius’s home. Dixon, a university professor, told the court about the sound made by Pistorius’s cricket bat hitting his toilet door, visibility in the star runner’s bedroom and blood splatter.
Pistorius’ defence team has argued that neighbours who testified to hearing “bloodcurdling screams” followed by gunshots were mistaken.

If proven correct, the neighbours’ account could punch a hole through Pistorius’s claim he did not know Steenkamp was in the toilet.

Pistorius’s defence team has tried to show that the noises were in fact Pistorius bashing a cricket bat against his toilet door after realising he mistakenly killed the model. “Are you a sound expert, sir?” asked Nel. “Have you received training in decibels and sound?”
Not specifically, said Dixon.

He also testified that Pistorius’s bedroom was so dark the athlete could not have seen whether Steenkamp was in bed. When Nel asked the geologist about how he analysed the visibility in Pistorius’s bedroom room at night, Dixon said: “My lady, the instruments I used there were my eyes.”

“Are you a blood splatter expert?” said Nel. “I have received no training in blood splatter analysis,” said Dixon, a former employee of the South African Police Service.
Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux is expected to call up to 17 witnesses to bolster the athlete’s story that he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake, believing she was an intruder breaking into his upmarket home in a gated Pretoria community.

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