I heard Reeva breathing after shooting - Oscar

2014-04-15 12:31
(Themba Hadebe, AP)

(Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Oscar contradicts himself - expert

2014-04-15 10:25

Criminal law expert William Booth says Oscar Pistorius crumbled under Gerrie Nel's cross examination by presenting different versions of what happened on February 14.WATCH

kalahari.com

Pretoria - After Oscar Pistorius broke into the toilet door in which Reeva Steenkamp had been shot, he heard her breathing, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Tuesday.

"I pulled her around onto me and then I heard her breathing, and then I tried to get her up," Pistorius said during cross examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Pistorius is accused of murdering Steenkamp in his Pretoria house on 14 February last year. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

Nel asked him about the position of the magazine rack in the cubicle after he broke into the toilet to get to Steenkamp. Pistorius claimed he heard the rack moving before he fired the shots. Ballistics expert Captain Chris Mangena previously testified for the State that Steenkamp fell onto the rack after she was shot in the hip.

"I scuffled (sic) around with my legs which is probably where I kicked the magazine rack," Pistorius said.

Nel asked him if his kicking of the rack was a memory, or if he thought it happened.

"It's what I think," he replied.

Scream

Earlier, Pistorius said he did not scream when he saw Steenkamp lying slouched next to the toilet bowl.

Pistorius told the court he was screaming as he tried to break down the door to reach Steenkamp.

"Did you scream when you saw her?" Nel asked Pistorius.

"No, my lady," he responded.

"For the first time of you seeing her, you didn't scream?" Nel asked, adding that it must have been an unbelievable sight.

"You ran around screaming before but you didn't scream when you saw her?" Nel continued.

"I didn't see the purpose," Pistorius answered.

Nel said Pistorius had stated this as he believed it corresponded with what several witnesses had testified.

At least two of the witnesses earlier told the court they heard screams before the shots but there were no screams after the shots.

"No, my lady," Pistorius said, keeping his eyes focused on Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Phone call to security

Nel also questioned him on the phone call he made to security of the estate on which he lived.

One security guard had testified that he called Pistorius and enquired about what was happening at his home.

The guard told the court Pistorius had told him there was "no problem".

Pistorius disputed this, saying it "didn't make sense" for him to tell the guard there was nothing wrong.

"I phoned him first then he phoned me back," said Pistorius, trying to explain that he had approached security for help.

Picking at Pistorius's testimony, Nel asked whether Pistorius had not accidentally called security and then hung up.

Nel told the court Pistorius's version of events after he broke down the toilet door and reached Steenkamp had "little improbability".

"You struggled with the version prior to the shots because they were tailored," said Nel.

Crying out Reeva's name

Pistorius said he was crying out Steenkamp's name as he tried breaking into the toilet cubicle.

"I was crying out. I was screaming 'Reeva, Reeva'... crying and screaming... I was overcome with terror and despair. At times I was screaming, at times I was crying out," he said.

Earlier, Pistorius confirmed that while he was initially trying to use his shoulder to barge through the toilet door, he was still holding the gun he had fired in his right hand.

Nel said: "Why would you still run around with the gun in your hand?"

He then asked Pistorius to again demonstrate how he hit the door with the cricket bat. Nel said based on Pistorius's position, his back foot was one metre from the door and front foot 30cm from the door, with his left shoulder facing the door.

Following the demonstration, Nel argued that where Pistorius struck the door was higher up than shown.

Nel then asked Pistorius to recount in what position Steenkamp was lying when he managed to get inside the toilet.

As he described Steenkamp's position, Pistorius's voice rose to a higher pitch and he became emotional.

A picture of the toilet cubicle was shown to the court, on which Pistorius indicated Steenkamp's position.

He said her right arm was lying on the toilet bowl, with her seated alongside it and her back against the wall.

In the photo shown to the court, Pistorius said Steenkamp was in the same position as the magazine rack, which at the time was further away from the toilet.

Jeans

Earlier, Nel also questioned why Steenkamp's jeans were found inside-out in Pistorius's bedroom that morning.

"Why did she leave her jeans inside-out?" Nel asked Pistorius.

"Did she not take it off quickly and not have time [to turn it the right way round]?" Nel asked.

Pistorius said he did not know why Steenkamp had left her jeans that way.

On Monday, the court heard that Steenkamp was a very neat person.

All the clothes she had taken to Pistorius's home had been neatly placed in her overnight bag, except for her jeans and a pair of slip-slops found next to Pistorius's bed.

She was wearing shorts and a top on the morning she was killed.


- SAPA
Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial
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