Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Pistorius 'on the verge of suicide'

Oscar Pistorius denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead at his home last month

Oscar Pistorius is "on the verge of suicide" as he is forced to sell off his belongings to fight a charge of premeditated murder, a friend of the Paralympic star has said.

"Blade Runner" Pistorius, 26, is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after she was shot dead at his home last month.

The Olympian claims he shot her through a bathroom door thinking she was an intruder.

Close friend Mike Azzie, who Pistorius refers to as Uncle Mike, said the sportsman was a "broken man" after he was tasked with selling his racehorses to raise money to pay for spiralling legal fees.

Speaking in a BBC3 documentary, Oscar Pistorius: What Really Happened?, Mr Azzie said Pistorius regularly talks about Steenkamp as he awaits his next court appearance on June 4.

He said: "He just always seems to mention Reeva and to ask us to pray for her and her family. But most of all, you've got to understand that we are there for him and we will always be his friend.

"He has no confidence in his tone of voice and he is just a man that is almost like someone that is walking around in circles and doesn't know where he is going.

"I would say that, just speaking to him, that he is a broken man and that I would go as far to say that he would be on the verge of suicide. It really worries me."

According to the documentary makers, Mentorn Media, police in Johannesburg said they have requested all records of phone calls and messages exchanged between Pistorius and Steenkamp on the day she was killed.

Officers added they were also sifting through a "massive" number of texts on Steenkamp's phone, producers said.