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Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp said 'I'm scared of you sometimes' as Whatsapp messages are shown in court

By Maria Tadeo

Text messages between Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp revealed in court painted a picture of a jealous man who "snapped" at her and often accused her of flirting with other men, his murder trial heard.

In a Whatsapp conversation, Ms Steenkamp wrote: "I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me."

 

The model also wrote she felt "picked on" and "attacked" by the one person she "deserved protection from"- referring to the athlete- and upset by his "jealous tantrums".

 

Ms Steenkamp also wrote she was trying "her best" to make him happy but felt he "didn't treat her like a lady" and recalled an incident where he "criticised" her so "loudly everyone" could hear it.

 

The model said tried to make him "proud" and present herself "well" while he was busy chatting to the press and fans at parties.

 

In a separate incident, the athlete accused her of chatting to a man, "touching his arm" and ignoring him. Pistorius sobbed in court as the messages were read out.

One of the messages from Pistorius to Ms Steenkamp appears to refer to a shooting accident at a restaurant where the athlete asked a friend, Darren Fresco, to take the blame.

 

He wrote: "Angel, please don't say a thing to any one, Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can't afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing."

 

Ms Steenkamp replied: "I don't know what you're talking about :) But thank you for telling me, I appreciate it."

 

In an argument over alleged drug use, Pistorius wrote: "It was just when you got back from Tropica (a reality show filmed in Jamaica, where Ms Steenkamp took part) you made it sound like you had only smoked weed once."

 

Ms Steenkamp replied: "I'm just very honest. I won't always think before I say something. Just appreciate I'm not a liar."

 

She also wrote: ""I've never been a stripper or a ho."

Earlier, a neighbour of Pistorius told Pretoria's High Court she heard the "terrified" screams of a woman at around 3am on Valentine's Day last year.

 

Anette Stipp told the court: "The screaming at that stage just continued. There was definitely a female screaming for quite a period. You could definitely hear two different voices.

 

"I said to my husband it sounds like a family murder. Otherwise why would a woman scream like that? She sounds terrified."

 

She then heard a second set of gun shots, and the screaming stopped.

 

Mrs Stipp also told the court she saw the lights in bathroom where the model was shot were on from her balcony in the gated Silver Woods estate.

This appears contradicts the athlete's version of events, claiming the couple went to bed at around 10pm and the room was pitch dark, and matches the testimony of previous witnesses who also heard screaming, including her husband.

 

The athlete's defence argues Pistorius fired through the locked toilet door first and later used a cricket bat to smash it down after he realised Ms Steenkamp was inside.

 

His defence insists neighbours mistook the sound of the cricket bat for gunshots.

 

On Sunday, the court in Guateng province confirmed the trial, which is entering its fourth week, will now run until mid-May after both parties agreed to an extension.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel is expected to wrap up his case this coming week, calling five new witnesses to the stand.

 

On Thursday, Pistorius announced plans to sell his Pretoria mansion where girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot on Valentine's Day last year to cover the spiralling legal costs of the trial.

 

Pistorius pleaded not guilty of murdering Ms Steenkamp, claiming he shot her in a case of mistaken identity thinking she was an intruder.

 

Prosecutors argue he intentionally shot and killed his girlfriend following a domestic dispute. If convicted of murder he will almost certainly receive a life sentence, with a minimum term of 25 years in prison.

 

The case continues.

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