As pathologist Gert Saayman relayed to the court the condition of Steenkamp’s body after she was shot in the head, Pistorius had to be brought a bucket which he retched in to until the trial was adjourned.
Throughout the proceedings, he continued to cry and vomit.
The court heard that Steenkamp had been shot three times – in the head, the hip and the arm. Saayman added that the particular bullets used – a “black talon” type – were designed to cause the maximum amount of tissue damage and disintegrate on impact with human tissue.
After being shot, she would’ve only been able to take a few breaths, before losing consciousness.
The pathologist also revealed that there were bruises on Steenkamp’s body that were not related to the shooting and appeared to have been caused by a “blunt instrument”.
The details of the evidence Saayman gave in the court were deemed to be too graphic to be broadcast, and the judge, Justice Thokozile Masipa, ruled that tweets and blog posts could not be sent from the courtroom.
Pistorius, 27, sat with his hands over his ears, and retched loudly in the silent courtroom. He was granted a few minutes to collect himself but the court was adjourned when his lawyer said that “he is very emotional, it is not going to change”.
The paralympian spent a few minutes sitting in the dock, being comforted by family members, after the trial was adjourned.
Members of the public have doubts as to whether Pistorius’s reaction was genuine, and commentators are split over whether it was shock or guilt that caused his vomiting, after hearing such graphic details of his girlfriend’s death
Pistorius denies intentionally killing Steenkamp. He says that he mistook her for an intruder in the home that they shared, when he fired four shots through the bathroom door.
The trial is ongoing.