Oscar Pistorius: ‘I sat over her and cried’

2014-04-08 15:54

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The Oscar Pistorius murder trial today adjourned early for the second time, after the athlete broke down completely on the witness stand.

Pistorius dissolved into ragged, loud sobs when he testified about breaking down the toilet door and finding that he had shot Reeva Steenkamp.

After he broke down the door, Pistorius said: “I sat over her and cried.”

This was followed by a pause in which Pistorius sobbed more loudly than at any point during his testimony.

He then tried to carry on: “I don’t know how long I was there for. She wasn’t breathing,” he said before beginning to weep loudly in the court.

Pistorius’ sister could be heard crying soon after he did.

Judge Thokozile Masipa then abruptly adjourned the proceedings so that Pistorius could compose himself, but Barry Roux, Pistorius’ lawyer, then said he could not responsibly allow Pistorius’ testimony to continue, saying he was too emotional.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel did not object to the postponement of the matter until tomorrow.

Yesterday, the court also adjourned early after Roux said Pistorius was “exhausted” because he had not slept the night before.

At that time Nel agreed to the postponement but said he didn’t want this to be the case every day.

Earlier during his testimony, Pistorius told the court about the events immediately preceding the four shots he fired through the door.

After “peering” into his bathroom, he saw that there was nobody around the corner, but he did see that the bathroom window was open.

He testified he “was not sure where to point the firearm” because he didn’t know if “someone was going to come out of the toilet to attack me ... or if there was someone standing on a ladder (outside the open window)”.

He then screamed again for Steenkamp to call the police.

After “retreating” to his bedroom, he got onto his bed to feel if “Reeva was there”.

“I couldn’t feel anything.”

“At that point it first dawned on me that it could have been Reeva [in the toilet].”

Pistorius testified about how he screamed for help and kicked the toilet door with his prosthetic legs on, before hitting it three times with a cricket bat and breaking it down.

An important part of Pistorius’ testimony today has involved the possibility of an intruder gaining access to his home by using a ladder.

Yesterday, he testified that he was aware that ladders had been used to gain access to houses during other burglaries.

There were also ladders outside Pistorius’ house on the night Steenkamp was shot because Pistorius house was due for renovations.

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