I did not fire at Reeva - Oscar

2014-04-14 13:42
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 22

See all the latest pictures from Oscar Pistorius day 22 in the North Gauteng High Court.

Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius broke down in the North Gauteng High Court a second time on Monday as he denied deliberately shooting at his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel was questioning Pistorius about whether he had "pointed" or "aimed" his gun, whether he was thinking or not before he shot, and why he fired through the closed door of his toilet, killing Steenkamp on 14 February last year.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering her.

Nel spent several minutes conducting a blow-by-blow examination of how Pistorius crept into his bathroom on his stumps and held his gun.

'I fired out of fear'

Just before Pistorius broke down, Nel confronted him with the fact that his defence had changed from "putative self-defence" to "I don't know why", when asked why he pulled the trigger of his 9mm pistol and fired through his closed toilet door four times, killing Steenkamp.

Pistorius: "I thought the person was coming out to attack me. I wasn't thinking."

Nel: "Did you fire at the perceived attacker?"

Pistorius: "I fired at the door. I heard the noise and I fired out of fear."

Nel told Pistorius he could not claim two defences, shooting out of fear and shooting by mistake.

Nel pressed on: "You shot at Reeva."

Pistorius wailed: "It's not true."

Nel: "Why are you getting emotional now?"

Court was adjourned for Pistorius to compose himself.

No chance to leave

Pistorius acknowledged that he never gave whoever was in his toilet cubicle a chance to leave before he started shooting at the door.

Nel said: "You said, 'get out' but never gave them a chance to get."

Pistorius: "Yes, my lady."

Nel: "You gave them no chance, you just fired?"

Pistorius: "That's correct."

He agreed that he did not know how many people were in there, whether they were armed or how he expected them to get out.

"I wasn't thinking of how they'd get out," he said.

Pistorius told the court he was not aiming anywhere in particular as he fired the shots.

"The pathologist said the shots were grouped," Nel said to Pistorius.

He asked whether Pistorius had discussed the evidence with the ballistic officials.

Pistorius said "No."

Changed aim

Pistorius changed his aim when firing through his toilet door at an "intruder", Nel said, asking Pistorius about a noise he claims to have heard in his toilet before shooting through the door four times.

At first Pistorius claimed the noise he heard in the toilet was the door scraping against the frame as someone was opening it.

He said when he heard the noise he fired, thinking an intruder was about to emerge and attack him.

Then Pistorius added: "In retrospect it was the magazine rack moving."

Nel pounced: "Then I'm going to show you something."

Displayed on screens around the court was a photo of the toilet cubicle from the top.

It shows the metal rods the ballistics expert inserted through the four bullet holes in the door, and a pool of blood around the base of the toilet.

The holes are marked A to D on the door.

"A is aimed at the toilet, if you look at the trajectory. Now, the evidence is that that bullet struck her in the right hip," Nel said.

"Captain Mangena said she then fell on the magazine rack. C and D is aimed at where the magazine rack is. You heard the magazine rack move and you changed your aim."

Captain Chris Mangena is the police ballistics expert.

Pistorius struggled to reply.

"I couldn't have heard her fall on the magazine rack because according to the State's evidence one of the shots missed."

"I don't know what you've answered," Nel said.

The State alleges that Pistorius murdered Steenkamp when he shot her though a locked a toilet in his Pretoria house.

He says he mistook her for her an intruder.

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has also denied guilt on these charges.

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

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