June Steenkamp unmoved by Oscar Pistorius apology

2014-04-07 14:07

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Oscar Pistorius says he was last year forced to begin taking medication after he began suffering from “terrible nightmares” in which he could “smell blood”.

This was one of the first things Pistorius told the court today when he took to the witness stand in his own defence.

He said he was forced to begin taking sleeping pills and anti-depressants because of his traumatic reaction after the killing of Reeva Steenkamp last Valentine’s Day.

“I don’t ever want to handle a firearm again, or be near one,” said Pistorius, in his first oblique reference to the shooting.

A distraught Pistorius began his testimony by apologising to friends and family of Steenkamp.

“I wake up every morning and you're the first people I think of, the first people I pray for.

“I can't imagine the sorrow and emptiness I’ve caused,” said Pistorius.

Overcome by tears and with his lips trembling, Pistorius battled to get out the apology, his voice thin and breaking.

Pistorius said he was just “trying to protect” Steenkamp and said that “when she went to bed that night she felt loved”.

But Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June, was seemingly unmoved by the apology, not showing any reaction to it.

Following the dramatic opening moments of the testimony, a calmer Pistorius spent much of the morning testifying about his family history, his disability and about his athletics career.

He smiled for the first time when he told the court about his mother, who passed away when he was fifteen.

“She never ran after me ... if I fell she let me get up for myself."

Pistorius told the court his mother had been very important to him .

“Everything (I) learnt in life I learnt from her,” he said.

He also told the court that his mother had been very security conscious and that she had also kept a pistol in a pillow in the house.

The athlete’s testimony continues.

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