At his murder trial, Oscar Pistorius has been forced to look at a forensic photo of his dead girlfriend’s head after it was hit by one of the bullets he fired.
The prosecutor’s tough cross-examination also tried to portray the Olympic and Paralympic athlete as a hot-head who loved guns.
The court was played a TV video from Britain’s Sky News showing Pistorius at a shooting range, firing a handgun at a watermelon.
As it explodes upon impact, he is then heard saying “it’s a lot softer than brains. But (bleep) it’s like a zombie stopper.”
In court prosecutor Gerrie Nel seized on it.
“What we can see there is the effect the ammunition had on a watermelon. It exploded. Am I right?” Nel challenged the defendant.
“That’s correct,” Pistorius replied.
“You know that the same happened to Reeva’s head. It exploded, I’m going to show you,” Nel went on, before projecting the forensic photograph of Steenkamp’s head on the court monitors.
Steenkamp was hit by three of four hollow-point rounds fired by Pistorius through the toilet door. One hit her behind the right ear, killing her almost instantly, pathologists had earlier told the court.
Pistorius acknowledged responsibility but said between sobs: “I will not look.”
Defence lawyer Barry Roux replied by alleging that the prosecutor’s comparison with the watermelon was extremely unfair and uncalled for.
The prosecution claims Pistorius intentionally killed Reeva Steenkamp after a row at his home by firing a gun through a bathroom door.
The athlete says he shot her accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder.