'Reeva was against toilet door when shot'

Two expert witnesses say Reeva Steenkamp was in a defensive position when she was shot.

Oscar Pistorius with his lawyer Barry Roux during his murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on 17 March 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - A state witness has testified that Reeva Steenkamp was standing upright and was against the toilet door when Oscar Pistorius fired the first of four shots.

Blood spatter expert Ian van Der Nest also backed up ballistics expert Captain Chris Mangena's evidence that Steenkamp was in a defensive position after being shot in the bathroom cubicle.

Mangena said the arm wound was consistent with her lifting her arms to cover her face.

Van der Nest said the blood on the floor around the toilet was consistent with Steenkamp's arm wound.

Colonel Ian van der Nest.

He added that the blood, tissue and hair inside the toilet bowl indicated that the head wound she sustained happened in that region.

Steenkamp's bloody hair on the stair case rail.

The graphic details of Wednesday's testimony revealed there was a short space of time between the first and last three gun shots, although defence advocate Barry Roux disagreed.

Van der Nest said the athlete's version that he carried his girlfriend from the bathroom downstairs was the most probable explanation in terms of the blood trail.

The details emerged in Mangena's testimony on day 13 of the athlete's murder trial.

Mangena said of the four bullets fired by Pistorius, three of them found their target.

Captain Chris Mangena. Picture: Pool.

The first shot, which struck Steenkamp in the hip, sent her backwards and she collapsed onto a small magazine rack in the toilet cubicle.

Picture: Carte Blanche.

The second shot missed her and hit the wall.

Mangena said with her hands up in a defensive position, the third shot hit her elbow.

The final bullet tore open her hand which was on her head to protect herself before it penetrated her skull.

Roux said their expert witnesses would dispute the state's version of events.

Picture: Pool.

Meanwhile, the trial was adjourned until Monday next week.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court the state was nearing the end of its case against the athlete.

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

Steenkamp's position when shot.