'Reeva in defensive position when shot'

A ballistics expert has described each shot and how they hit Reeva Steenkamp.

Ballistics expert Captain Mike Mangena gives testimony in court during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on 19 March 2014.

PRETORIA - Ballistics expert Captain Mike Mangena has testified that Reeva Steenkamp was in a defensive position when she was shot by Oscar Pistorius on Valentine's Day last year.

Mangena explained each shot and described how they hit Steenkamp.

Regarding the last shot, Mangena said, "She was in a defensive position."

He then demonstrated to the court this position by cowering with both hands crossed, shielding his head.

Picture: Pool

The last shot went through Steenkamp's left hand into the right side of her skull.

"The last bullet pierced her left hand before passing into the right side of her head. Her hands were crossed, with her left hand covering the right side of her head and her right hand covering the left."

Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Carte Blanche.

When he began his testimony, Mangena said the wound on Steenkamp's hip was most likely inflicted while she was in a standing position between the door and the toilet.

He said the deceased would have been facing the door at that point.

Mangena explained that because her hip bone was broken by the impact of the first shot, she would have fallen down.

He continued by saying if she fell down completely to the floor, she would have been too low down for the other shots.

He said she fell backwards onto the magazine rack which resulted in her being in a sitting position.

One of the bullets then missed her, ricocheted off the wall and the fragments hit her back.

The ballistics expert said the shots were fired no less than 60 centimetres from the bathroom door.

He said he worked this out by firing the same bullets in a controlled environment, designed in the same way as the crime scene.

Mangena said the cartridges were found in inconsistent positions and he couldn't make any findings based on them.

He explained that they were likely moved around when people first arrived on the crime scene.

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