By Staff Reporter
- The seventh witness to be called to the stand in Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial was Johan Stipp, who described the gruesome aftermath of the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.
- Stipp’s home was about 72 metres away from Pistorius’s.
- When Stipp looked towards Pistorius’s large home, he saw almost all the lights were on.
- Prosecutor Gerrie Nel established that Stipp had seen the lights of the bathroom where Steenkamp was shot were also on.
- While wondering who to call next, Stipp heard another three loud bangs. He told his wife to stay down, in case the sounds were gunshots.
- He eventually got through to security, and was told guards were waiting for a manager, but would be attending the scene soon.
- Stipp then put the phone down, went to the balcony and heard a male voice shouting: “Help, help, help”.
- A short while later, security guards arrived outside Stipp’s home, and from the balcony he told the guards to check out where the noises had come from.
- A man on a cellphone motioned Stipp towards the home, where he saw a woman standing in the doorway.
- He told a woman standing in the door that he was a doctor, and saw another woman lying on the ground.
- Stipp went inside, noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side, he had his left hand on her right groin, and two fingers of right hand in her mouth.
- “I shot her… I thought she was a burglar, and I shot her,” the man, known now to be Pistorius, told Stipp.
- Through photos presented to the court, Stipp identified Steenkamp as the woman he had tried to help.
- He tried to open her airways, look for signs of life.
- In graphic detail, Stipp told the court about his examination of Steenkamp. She had no pulse, was not breathing, and her mouth was clenching down on Pistorius’s fingers.
- Stipp opened her right eyelid. Her pupil was dilated and the cornea was milky, drying out.
- “To me it was obvious she was mortally wounded,” said Stipp.
- He noted she had wounds in her thigh and arm, and blood in her hair. Brain tissue was escaping her skull.
- Pistorius was crying all the time. He prayed to God, asking for her not to die, Stipp said.
- The witness said at one point that Pistorius vowed to dedicate his life to God if she survived.
- Throughout the testimony, Pistorius covered his head.
- Stipp eventually went outside, spoke to Stander, who he told to call paramedics. Netcare 911 was called and Stander handed Stipp the phone, and he explained to the dispatcher what had happened.
- Pistorius stood by her side for some time, Stipp said.
- Only later did Stipp notice Pistorius going upstairs, and Stipp asked Stander if he knew where the gun was.
- Stipp was worried that Pistorius was going to hurt himself.
- Reporters tweeting at the scene said Pistorius reacted strongly to Stipp’s evidence in court, variously reporting that Pistorius was dry heaving, swaying and weeping.
Reeva Steenkamp suffered a “devastating” head wound, which would have made it impossible for her to scream, the High Court in Pretoria heard.
“It was a terrible, serious, devastating head wound,” Barry Roux, for Pistorius, told the seventh State witness, radiologist Johan Stipp.
He was making the point that Stipp could not have heard a woman screaming in the early hours of February 14 last year.
“A person with that injury would not have been able to scream,” said Roux.
Stipp’s home, in the Silver Woods Country Estate, Pretoria, is near Pistorius’s. He testified that he woke up around 3am to what sounded like gunshots, then heard a woman screaming and then three more “bangs”.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel rose and objected to Roux’s phrasing.
He said it could not be stated as a fact that the first shot killed Steenkamp, thus making it impossible for her to scream.
Stipp was the first doctor to see Steenkamp’s body lying in Pistorius’s home.
Pistorius is accused of the murder of Steenkamp. He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.
In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.
-Reuters & iol.co.za