Pistorius trial: iPad history revealed

Colonel Mike Sales testified about his analysis of two iPads found at the crime scene.

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius in the High Court in Pretoria for the 13th day of his trial, 19 March 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - It's emerged that one of Oscar Pistorius's iPads was used to search for car and pornography sites shortly before the athlete shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

A copy of the device's browser history was submitted as evidence in his murder trial in Pretoria today.

Last year, the athlete fired four shots at his girlfriend behind a locked toilet door in the early hours of Valentine's Day.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

He says he thought she was an intruder but the state is aiming to have him convicted of premeditated murder, saying the couple had a heated argument before the shooting.

IT expert Colonel Mike Sales testified about data he downloaded off some of the mobile devices found at the scene.

Sales says the athlete's iPad 3 was used to search for fast cars on the night of 13 February.

On closer inspection of the device's browser history - which was displayed on television screens in court - the public gallery could see it was also used to search for pornography at around 6:30pm that evening.

Nel did not ask his witness about the porn site, but established that a second iPad in the house had a similar web history.

During cross-examination, Sales said he had no way of telling who had been using the iPad at the time.

In a light moment shortly after the witness was excused, prosecutor Gerrie Nel's own iPad accidentally let out a loud electronic voice.

An embarrassed Nel apologised to the judge and joked that he'd refrain from touching any buttons.


Earlier in the day, the court heard testimony from ballistics expert Captain Chris Mangena and blood spatter analyst Colonel Ian van der Nest.

Nel took both witnesses through graphic photographs of the crime scene, essentially establishing the state's case that Steenkamp was not killed by the first gunshot.

Mangena testified that Steenkamp was standing facing the toilet door when she was first shot in her hip, before falling down on a magazine rack.

Mangena said the last two bullets struck her in the head and chest.

Van der Nest supported this version of events, saying blood on the toilet seat could only have come from the deceased's head.

The witness also agreed with Mangena's claim that Steenkamp's arms were raised during the last two shots, in an apparent attempt to cover and defend her head.


In what could possibly be another attempt by Pistorius's family to reach out to Steenkamp's mother June, the athlete's sister passed her a hand-written note ahead of proceedings this morning.

June immediately read the letter, but it never became clear what it said.

This week, both Aimee and her uncle Arnold have gone up to speak to June in the public gallery.

Oscar Pistorius's sister Aimee greets Reeva Steenkamp's mother June in the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Pool.

When Mangena took the stand this morning, Pistorius covered his ears during parts of his testimony.

But June remained composed and listened to what the witness had to say about the bullets that struck her daughter.


At the end of proceedings today, Nel asked Judge Masipa to consider a request to postpone until Monday.

He told the judge his team had a lot to prepare ahead of their final witnesses which he hoped to get through early next week.

The prosecutor said he had only four or five more witnesses.

Defence advocate Barry Roux said he had no objection to the request, provided the state did not take its time next week.

Masipa agreed to the request and said court would adjourn again on Monday at 9:30am.

Listen to the day's full proceedings: