Crime scene photographer testifies

Warrant Officer Barend van Staden is testifying in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Crime scene photographer Warrant Officer Barend van Staden (L) testifies in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on 17 March 2014.

PRETORIA - State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has called up crime scene photographer Warrant Officer Barend van Staden to testify in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Picture: EWN.

Pistorius shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Silver Woods Estate home on Valentine's Day last year.

Picture: Carte Blanche.

He is facing charges of premeditated murder and two separate firearm-related charges.

Earlier, a quick testimony by Pistorius's gun dealer, Sean Rens from the International Firearm Training Academy, was followed by an even quicker cross-examination.


Van Staden was the standby photographer on the morning of the shooting and was called out to the crime scene.

He took the court on an indepth tour of Pistorius's house using hundreds of pictures he took after the fatal shooting.

A video of the witness list.

The photographer also provided the exact time each shot was taken.

Equipped with a Canon camera fitted with a standard 28 to 35mm lens, van Staden said that upon arrival at the scene, he was met by former Investigating Officer Hilton Botha who took him through the scene.

Van Staden said he was first taken to Pistorius who was in the garage.

"I went in to the garage, closed the door behind me. It was just the accused and I in the room. I tested his hands, and took pictures."

He said he had confirmed with officers on the scene that the accused had in fact washed his hands.

When discussing the main bedroom, van Staden said the curtains were open when he walked in. He also observed blood spots on the right side of the bed where Steenkamp was presumably sleeping, and the gun holster on the bed side table.

Van Staden said he didn't move anything in the room or the bathroom except when he needed to photograph something specific.

Nel showed the court that the scene was photographed prior to any changes, challenging the defence's claim of tampering.


Van Staden testified that all images taken by him were stored on an SD card.

The pictures contained meta-data which showed the date and time of each image.

He testified the SD card was sealed in a bag and handed to an admin clerk to download.

The admin clerk also kept a master copy of the SD card.

Van Staden is a photographer based at the Local Criminal Record Centre.

He has worked with the police for 21 years and eight years at the centre.

Get all the latest developments on the EWN Oscar Pistorius portal.

A video of Pistorius's version of events.