Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Witness 'heard Pistorius house row'

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in court in Pretoria, South Africa (AP)
A woman holds a photo of Reeva Steenkamp as she leaves her funeral in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AP)
Reeva Steenkamp's coffin arrives at her funeral ceremony in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AP)

A witness heard "non-stop shouting" coming from Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius's home before he shot his girlfriend dead, a court has heard.

The witness overheard the "row" which is said to have come from the property at the exclusive Silver Lakes Golf Estate between 2am and 3am on Valentine's Day, the prosecution said.

Shortly afterwards, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, lay bleeding to death in Pistorius's bathroom. She was hit by three bullets - in the head, the hip and arm, Pretoria Magistrates' Court heard.

One witness reported hearing a shot, followed 17 minutes later by more shots, lead detective Hilton Botha said. "One of our witnesses heard a fight, two people talking loudly at each other... from two in the morning to three," he said, adding that the witness was about 1,000ft away.

Pistorius has admitted shooting the model with a 9mm pistol pulled from under his bed, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar or burglars who were in the bathroom. He adds that he opened fire in the dark because he was too scared to turn a light on. Realising his mistake, he broke the door down with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs, he said.

Mr Botha said there was "no way" he believed Pistorius's version of events and a witness told police Pistorius's lights were on after hearing gunshots.

The runner has said he shot through the door while on his stumps. But the court heard the bullets' trajectory was through the top of the door and Mr Botha claims the bullets were fired down, suggesting Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs when the shots were discharged. He said: "I believe he knew she was in the bathroom and he shot four shots through the door."

The court also heard that two boxes of testosterone and needles were found in Pistorius's bedroom. But his lawyer Barry Roux countered prosecution claims that testosterone was found, saying it was actually a herbal remedy, called Testocompasutium co-enzyme.

Mr Botha said he wanted Pistorius charged additionally with a weapons violation after unlicensed .38 calibre ammunition was found at the house. In an affidavit, Pistorius said he and Miss Steenkamp were in love and he thought she was in bed in the early hours of Thursday when he got up in the dark and blasted through the door.

The prosecution believe Pistorius, who won two gold medals and a silver at London's 2012 Paralympic Games, is a flight risk and are opposing bail. The case was adjourned to 11am on Thursday (9am GMT) when a decision over bail might be made.

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