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Sun Jan 25 22:18:48 SAST 2015

Reeva too injured to scream: Roux

Sapa | 04 March, 2014 12:51
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock ahead of the second day of the trial of the Olympic and Paralympic track star at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Image by: POOL / REUTERS

Reeva Steenkamp would have been too severely injured to scream on the fateful morning of February 14 last year, the High Court in Pretoria heard.

"There was serious, serious, brain damage," said Barry Roux, SC, for murder-accused Oscar Pistorius.

Pistorius held his head in his hands, hiding his face and cried.

A woman sitting with his family in the public gallery handed him a tissue.

Roux was seeking to disprove witness Michelle Burger's testimony that she heard a petrified woman scream moments before hearing four shots from the direction of Pistorius's home at Silver Woods Country Estate.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, saying he killed Steenkamp by accident when she was in the toilet of his home on Valentine's Day morning and thought she was an intruder.

He has denied there was an argument between the two before the shooting.

Roux said evidence would be presented that Steenkamp's injuries were so severe that there would have been no thought process and no cognitive function.

"It could not have been. She could not have screamed," he said.

After his lengthy cross-examination of the first witness in the trial, Pistorius's lawyer finally concluded his cross-examination.

Roux ended by asking Burger questions about her experience with guns.

She reiterated her statement from Monday that while she had heard gunshots before, it was the first time she had heard shots since she moved into Silverstreams Estate, the complex next to Silverwoods Estate where Pistorius lived and shot dead Steenkamp.

"Those were the only shots I had ever heard," said Burger.

The next witness, Estelle van der Merwe, was called to the stand.

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