Oscar says: ‘I felt a sense of terror’

2013-02-20 00:00

HE didn’t have his legs on, and felt “extremely vulnerable” when he thought an intruder was hiding in the toilet.

“I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger.

“I felt trapped … and have limited mobility on my stumps,” Oscar Pistorius told the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday in his application for bail.

He said he shouted to girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to phone the police, while he shot at the “intruder” through the toilet door.

But it was Steenkamp who was in the toilet and she died after she was hit by three of the four shots he fired.

“ … She died in my arms … I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva,” Pistorius said in his statement.

Pistorius was very emotional in court and sobbed loudly when his lawyer read his declaration that he was “deeply in love” with Steenkamp.

He shook so in the dock that magistrate Desmond Nair stopped proceedings to allow him to compose himself.

“It happens often during consultations when we get to such details,” said his advocate, Barry Roux SC.

Pistorius’s brother, Carl, embraced him from behind and tried to comfort him.

According to the affidavit, Pistorius and Steenkamp were to have gone out separately last Wednesday, but she asked if they could stay in. By 10 pm they were in the bedroom. She did yoga exercises while he watched TV. He had taken off his prosthetic legs.

“We were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way. She had given me a present for Valentine’s Day, but asked me only to open it the next day.”

After Steenkamp got into bed, they both fell asleep.

Pistorius said because he was “acutely aware of violent crime committed by intruders … [had] received death threats before [and had] been a victim of violence and of burglaries before”, he kept his 9 mm Parabellum underneath his bed at night.

In the early hours, he woke and went to the balcony to bring in a fan and close the sliding door, blinds and curtains.

He heard a noise in the bathroom and “felt a sense of terror rushing over me” as there were no burglar bars on the bathroom window and a ladder had been left outside by workmen.

“Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps.

“I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on.”

He grabbed his pistol and screamed at the intruders to get out of the house and for Steenkamp to phone the police.

“It was pitch-dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.”

The toilet, within the bathroom, has it own door, which was closed.

Pistorius fired four shots. He again shouted for Steenkamp to phone police. There was no answer.

“When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed.

“That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name.

“I tried to open the toilet door, but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help,” he said.

He put on his prosthetic legs, rushed back to the bathroom and tried to kick the door down. When that did not work, he bashed it open with a cricket bat. Steenkamp was slumped over, but still alive.

Pistorius said he dragged her into the bathroom and phoned an estate manager, Johan Stander, to call an ambulance.

He then also phoned paramedics and went to open the front door.

“I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up … I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital.”

Stander and a doctor who lives in the complex arrived.

“I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.”

Pistorius said he had no intention to kill Steenkamp.

The state will today call the investigating officer to testify against bail being granted.

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