Oscar Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead through a locked lavatory door, a leaked ballistics report allegedly states, ahead of a court hearing laying the ground for the Paralympian's trial for her murder.
The latest claim in the case is reportedly made in a leaked ballistics report said to form part of the police investigations dossier handed to Pistorius' defence team last week.
Mr Pistorius, 26, is preparing to face the glare of the world's media once more as he appears in court in Pretoria on Monday for a preliminary hearing in his trial for the murder of Steenkamp, a law graduate and FHM model, who would have celebrated her 30th birthday today.
The double amputee shot Steenkamp dead at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of Valentine's Day this year. He claimed he thought she was a burglar - the state claims that he killed her deliberately after a blazing row.
In an earlier court hearing, Pistorius said he had woken in the middle of the night, heard a noise in the bathroom and grabbed his gun to protect himself and his girlfriend, who was staying the night.
"I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable," he said in an affidavit.
"I believed that when the intruder or intruders came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger."
Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor, stated Pistorius took the time to strap on his prostheses, indicating the shooting had been a "clear case of premeditated murder".
According to a report in the UK Sunday Times, ballistics evidence backs up Pistorius' claim that he was on his stumps.
The paper quoted "a person with inside knowledge of the case" saying: "The defence will try to show that his actions were reasonable for a person with a disability."
The Telegraph, London