Oscar Pistorius shouts like a man, not a woman, ex testifies

2014-03-07 13:18

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Oscar Pistorius always carried a firearm and slept with it beside him, his ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor testified in his murder trial.

“He carried it around with him,” Taylor told the High Court in Pretoria today, adding that at night Pistorius kept the weapon on the floor next to his bed.

Taylor, who began dating Pistorius in 2011, said he once fired a gun through the open sunroof of her car and laughed, saying he had wanted to shoot a traffic light.

The young, blonde described Pistorius as volatile, saying he had frequently shouted at her, her friends and family.

Taylor told the court she dated Pistorius before he left her for Reeva Steenkamp, the model he is accused of murdering in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

“He cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp,” Taylor said.

Asked by prosecutor Gerrie Nel whether Pistorius sounded like a man or a woman when he shouted, Taylor responded firmly: “It sounded like a man, My Lady.”

The question relates to one of the pillars of Pistorius’ defence – that he screams in a high-pitched voice like a woman.

His lawyer Barry Roux, SC, has told witnesses who claim they heard a woman’s terrified cries coming from his house before Steenkamp died, that in fact it was his client who had cried out.

Roux said the defence had recreated screams and shouts in tests at Pistorius’ home and would submit the results to the court to challenge the testimony the court has heard.

“On the 21st of February there were indeed tests done and part of the tests was a woman screaming loud, as loud as she could,” Roux said.

In cross-examination, Roux brought Taylor to tears. He said she was lying about the end of her relationship with Pistorius and that he would provide copies of their emails to prove this.

Judge Thokozile Masipa briefly adjourned the court.

Roux has systematically challenged the credibility of every state witness since the trial began on Monday.

Earlier today, he told Johan Stipp, a neighbour of Pistorius, that the accused could not remember telling him that he shot Steenkamp because he believed she was an intruder.

“Mr Pistorius says he can’t remember telling you he thought she was an intruder ... He recalls asking you to help him,” said Roux.

Stipp maintained that the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter had given him this explanation for shooting Steenkamp:

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her”.

Stipp, a radiologist, has also given dramatic testimony of how Pistorius prayed and cried beside his dying girlfriend at the bottom of the staircase in his Pretoria home.

Describing Steenkamp’s bullet wounds in some detail, Stipp, who was the first doctor on the scene of the shooting, said she had lost all pulse and it was too late to save her life.

On Monday, Pistorius submitted his defence statement to the court that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder .

The state is trying to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door at his home.

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