Pistorius trial: Dixon continues testimony

Forensic geologist Roger Dixon continues with testimony in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Forensic expert Roger Dixon. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Before proceedings began today, Judge Thokozile Masipa granted an application by the state to postpone the Oscar Pistorius murder case from 17 April until 5 May.

Yesterday, State prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked the court to consider the postponement because of the upcoming Easter and public holidays.

Picture: Pool.

The judge commented that even with 7 May being the day of national elections, the matter could not waste more time and needed to wrap up as it was beginning to cause a backlog on the court roll.

Oscar Pistorius is on trial for the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after he shot and killed her on Valentine's Day last year.

Picture: Pool.

He is also facing two separate firearms-related charges and one of illegal possession of ammunition.

Video: Nel finalises cross-exam.

He maintains that he shot and killed Steenkamp by accident as he thought she was an intruder.


The defence team continued with its case by questioning forensic geologist expert Roger Dixon for a second day.

On the court's screen, a diagram was shown with pictures which Dixon compiled to mark trajectory in the bathroom.

The diagram marked the heights of the various bullet holes and ricochet marks which tracked the trajectory.

Dixon said, "It appears the projectile hit the wall side. On analysis of the mark, it turned up traces of lead and copper. The bullet core is made of lead, while the jacket is made up of copper."

He discussed the extent of energy transfer depending on the angle at which the projectile hit its target.

The expert agreed with the state's ballistics expert's findings that two ricochet marks were caused by the same projectile.


On Tuesday, Dixon testified that it was probably pitch black in the bedroom when Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp.

Dixon further confirmed the light bulb in the toilet was not functioning, which contradicted earlier testimony given by a state witness.

"The bulb in the toilet itself was not functional."

He said both the lights to the bathroom and toilet are controlled from outside the room.

Dixon also presented new photographs to the court, which he said was a replication of what the conditions may have been like on the morning of the deadly shooting.

Roux confirmed Dixon conducted light tests at the 'Blade Runner's' Silver Woods Country Estate home.


The toilet door also came under scrutiny as Roux attempted to convince the court his client was not guilty of murder.

Dixon took the court through the sounds of a cricket bat hitting the door and the marks made by the bat.

The forensic geologist conducted sound tests at Pistorius's house and played these back to the court.

He said the athlete kicked the toilet door with considerable force to get to Steenkamp, resulting in varnish sticking to the bottom of the athlete's prosthetic leg.

Dixon also took the court through the use of a cricket bat to smash through the toilet door.

White fibers from Pistorius's sock on the prosthetic leg were found on the door.

The state maintains he stepped on the panel once it had already broken off the door and had fallen to the floor.

Dixon also assessed Steenkamp's back wound, saying it was consistent with her falling back on the magazine rack.

Earlier on Tuesday, the athlete claimed he didn't see the rack in the corner next to the toilet when he found her body, saying it must have moved when she fell.

The state maintains that those wounds were caused by fragments of a bullet.

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