AS IT HAPPENED: Pistorius on trial; day 18

2014-04-08 08:38

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Oscar's trial - day 18 summary

2014-04-08 15:47

On day 18 of Oscar Pistorius's trial, Pistorius denied shooting a gun through a car's sunroof and broke down when describing shooting Reeva. Here's everything you need to know.WATCH

We bring you all the updates as Oscar Pistorius's trial goes into its 18th day. You can also get highlights from day 17 here.

15:17 - We'll be closing updates now. Join us tomorrow as we continue coverage of the trial. 

15:14 - An emotional June Steenkamp in court. (Kim Ludbrook, Pool)

15:04 - Karyn Maughan  tweets - Roux tells ballistic expert Mangena:"if the state incorrectly prosecuted an innocent young men, then you have ruined him forever."

14:49 - Pistorius, flanked by police officers and his burly bodyguards, walks out of the court and gets into a silver Land Rover. They drive off. 

14:46 - A huge crowd of journalists and onlookers is waiting outside the North Gauteng High Court for Pistorius to emerge.

14:45 - "As they file out, Pistorius' family are shaken, talk about it 'all being so sad'. Asked if OP will be okay, one says: He'll never be ok'," tweets Aislinn Laing.

14:34 - "Oscar Pistorius walks to side door of the courtroom, jaw twitching, very red, looks broken. Pauses at toilet door to let Reeva's mum pass," says Alex Crawford.

"His brother and sister are standing talking to OP's legal team. Aimee too looks very red-eyed and emotional," Crawford further says.

14:31 - Court will resume at 09:30 tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Watch a summary of day 18's proceedings below. Here's everything you need to know.

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14:30 - Roux wants to stand down until Wednesday (tomorrow) morning. Judge allows it.

14:28 - Reporters say people are taking their seats again. Court might restart soon.

14:23 - "Carl and Aimee embrace their brother, escort Oscar Pistorius out of the courtroom. No tears on the Steenkamp side, only incredulous faces," tweets Nastasya Tay  from court.

14:19 - "We have adjourned because Pistorius is howling uncontrollably. Unearthly wails," says Rebecca Davis.

14:17 - "I hit door 3 times. Grabbed frame with hands and threw it out into bathroom," OP says. He says he sat over her and cried. He's heaving now. Court has taken an adjournment as OP completely breaks down.

14:16 - Aimee Pistorius is sobbing in court. June Steenkamp looks down again. OP sniffs as more tears come.

14:15 - OP's voice is choking with emotion. " I was crying out to the Lord, I was crying out to Reeva, I was screaming."

14:14 - OP tried to kick the door open with his prosthetics. "I was panicked about what to do."

14:13 -  OP: I tried to open the bathroom door. Couldn’t. Went back to the room and opened the curtains.

He ran onto the balcony, he says, and screamed "help! Help! Help!"

14:12 - OP: I didn't want to believe it could be Reeva in the toilet. I was still scared.

14:11 - OP: Felt for Reeva.

OP says he thought she'd gone down onto the floor, "maybe she was scared", he says.

14:09 - OP: Don't know how long I stood there for. Kept shouting for Reeva. Walked out the pistol still raised. Kept shouting for Reeva. At this point it hadn't occurred to me that it could be Reeva. Retreated and went back to the bed. Spoke to Reeva. No one responded. 

14:08 - OP getting emotional. Crying as he speaks about how he shot into the door. Kept shouting for Reeva to call police, he says.

14:07 - OP: Once I saw there was no one waiting to attack, I retreated slightly. Screamed for Reeva to call police.

14:06 - OP: Had firearm pointed in front of me. 

14:05 - OP: No lights in bathroom; could see window was open. Was shuffling on left hand side of the wall. Wasn't sure if people had used ladder to gain access.

14:04 - OP says he can walk more comfortably on the carpet. Doesn't have much mobility on the tiles.

14:03 - Roux showing OP a photo of the entrance to the bathroom. Says "I approached this entrance...I made my way to where the carpet and tile meet. The surface changed."

14:01 - Court resumes. During adjournment OP asked to put his suit back on.

13:04 - "Pistorius's psychologist looking over at him worriedly. She glances at his uncle and shakes her head, a grim expression on her face," tweets the UK Telegraph's Aislinn Laing

Nastasya Tay  says Pistorius is struggling to compose himself.

13:01 - Court is set to resume at 14:00.

12:59 - Roux, at a very opportune time, asks for lunch break. Granted. Very emotional scenes in court as June Steenkamp buried her head in her hands as Pistorius revealed how he heard sounds coming from the bathroom on that fateful night.

12:57 - Photos shown in court of the window OP is referring to.

12:55 - I heard a door slam... it could only be the toilet door... this confirmed that there was someone in the house.

June Steenkamp, for the first time today, has her head in her hands.

12:55 - Just before I got to wall, I stopped shouting afraid they'd know exactly where I was.

12:54 - I screamed at the persons to get out, at Reeva to get to safety. I slowly made my way down the passage, constantly aware that these persons could come at me at any time.

12:53 -  I ran with my hands out in front of me, I found my gun under my bed. I wanted to put myself between the intruder and Reeva, says OP. Just as I left my bed, I whispered for Reeva to get down and phone the police.

12:52 - The first thing I thought was that I needed to arm myself, to protect Reeva and myself. Looking down passage, I was scared people were going to come out. I ran with my hand in front of me, touching floor, side of bed. I grabbed my firearm.

12:51 - OP says he froze when he heard the noise and didn't know what to do. I thought somebody was coming into the bathroom... "There's no barrier between me and the bathroom. It's one room."

12:49 - Roux asks OP what he thought at the time. "That's the moment that everything changed..." says OP. I thought there was a burglar in the house, he says.

12:49 - OP: Only light in the room was LED light from amplifier. Saw a pair of Reeva's jeans on the floor and was going to place it over the amplifier light. It was at this point I heard a window open in the bathroom. 

12:47 - OP says he went to get the fans. He then closed the sliding doors, locked them and drew the curtains. Can't remember if he closed the blinds. Probably did, he says.

12:46 - OP goes into when he woke up in the early hours of 14 February. He noticed the door was still open and the fans were still running. He's clearly crying right now.

He says Reeva was lying next to him and asked if he couldn't sleep. 

12:45 - He is half the height (roughly) and is wobbling, says Sky News's Alex Crawford.

12:44 - Roux asks OP to stand next to the door and take prosthesis off.

12:41 - Pistorius is back in court wearing a white shirt, says eNCA's Karyn Maughan. He's also wearing shorts to show prosthetics.

12:36 - Roux asks for short adjournment so OP can get into clothing and he will show court how he looks on stumps. 

Reeva's gift to Pistorius was four framed photos of them together.

12:34 - OP cries as he recalls Reeva's Valentine's Day gift and card for him. The card was marked for 'Ozzy'. He says he jokingly tried to open the present when he came home on the 13th but ended up opening it on her birthday, after the shooting.

12:33 - OP: I hadn't made any plans for Valentines Day. Reeva and I had a thing about not making a big deal about it.

But he had bought a bracelet which they would collect in Johannesburg.

12:32 -  I asked if I should close the balcony doors and fetch the fans - she said she would do it. I fell asleep, OP says.

12:31 - Oscar: Reeva was still watching TV, we were chatting. She showed me pictures on her phone. She showed me picture of a car she really liked... I was getting increasingly tired...

12:30 - OP: Earlier in the evening I had taken my firearm and placed it around the corner under the bed. I climbed into the left-hand side of the bed. This wasn't normal for me but because of my shoulder injury I lay on that side. 

12:30 - OP: As I finished chatting, Reeva walked to bathroom, I also went to brush my teeth - without prosthetic legs.

12:27 - Pistorius said he came back in from bathroom, sat on bed to take his prostheses off. He'd been dressed in a suit all day, legs needed air. Reeva came into the room and went online. I called my cousin. I lay at the foot of the bed. Reeva started doing stretches and yoga.

12:26 - OP: The house does have an alarm system. I spent money when I moved in. The outside sensors are battery operated.

12:25 - OP says he the locked bedroom door after Reeva came inside, put cricket bat at sunglasses cabinet. If something happened… the door would be blocked by the cricket bat. Something I did every night.

12:23 - I took my drink and put it down on the bedside table. I walked behind Reeva when she came in the room, says OP. 

12:21 - OP: I was trying to get most of the humid air out of the room, wanted to avoid insects coming in. He says he used black out material fabric for his curtains, making his room pitch black when the  curtains were drawn.

12:20 - OP: I placed the tripod fan with one of its legs on the balcony, with the small fan under it.

12:18 - 20:00 I came into my room. Opened balcony doors. Very humid evening. Air conditioning was not working.

12:17 - Normally we would have watched TV but we'd both had a "taxing day" so we decided to go upstairs. I helped clear plates off table, OP says.

12:15 - After dinner we sat at the dining room table for a while and chatted about our day, about Reeva wanting to sign  modelling contract.

12:13 - Roux will come back later to what OP accessed on ipad. Exhibit not available. OP says he had dinner shortly after 19:00.

12:12 - Roux asks about OP's iPad. OP says he surfed the net when he got home. Was looking at cars. When he went upstairs, sat on the bed, took a bath.

12:11 - Reeva went out to get food for dinner. I arrived home just after 18:00, he says. I chatted to her for a bit, went upstairs, showered and changed.

12:09 - Reeva said she preferred to stay with OP for another night (on February 13) and she offered to cook them dinner.

12:08 - Now onto details of 13 February 2013... OP says Reeva stayed the night before,and he'd headed to Johannesburg for an important meeting in the morning. Had a coffee with a friend first

12:05 - OP: I asked for the bill, paid with credit card. Mrs Loupis (restaurant owner's wife) came over, she joked with Fresco...she believed it was him who fired the shot.

12:04 - OP apologised to Tasha's owner and offered to pay for damages.

12:02 - OP asked Fresco if he understood the severity of what happened and what it would mean for him (OP) if it got out to the media. Fresco took the blame for the incident and said the gun got hooked on his pants.

12:01 - OP says he gave Fresco his firearm back. People had started talking again in the restaurant…Soon after, the restaurant owner came over.

12:00 - OP: I wanted to make the firearm safe. As the round came out of the chamber, the shot went off. I was quite angry at Mr Fresco for handing me a firearm that was unsafe.

11:59 - OP says he'd been considering buying the same pistol that friend Darren Fresco owned. So asked him to show it to him in restaurant.

11:57 - Roux moves onto Tasha's restaurant shooting. OP explains that he agreed to meet with friend at restaurant. Fresco was there too.

11:57 - OP says "that never happened" regarding allegation that he fired through sunroof.

11:54 - OP admits to being angry that the officer had handled his firearm.

11:54 - Oscar: After clearing the firearm of the bullet the officer put the firearm on the seat. He asked for my licence. The officer then lost his temper, lit a cigarette and walked away.

11:50 - Police saw the gun in the car and asked whose it was. I said it was mine, OP says. He says police officer's manner was aggressive.

11:50 - I got out of my car because I wanted to help diffuse the situation, says OP. I had my firearm on me. It was always on me, he says. But before approaching police I took my firearm off my person and left it in the car.

11:49 - OP: Fresco got a fine, he crumpled it up and threw it in to the car.

11:47 - OP explains the sunroof shooting incident. OP: As we were about to get on to the N1 highway a police officer pulled the car over - there was no plate on the front.

11:45 - Now Roux moves onto the charges. Deals with firearm charges before murder charge.

11:45 - OP told Reeva that she didn't have to return to Johannesburg and could sleep over at his place on the evening of her murder. 

11:41 - Reeva to OP: "Baba I hope you don't mind, I came back to the house to work a bit...will relieve some stress." She was at my house, says OP. 

Reeva also sent the message: “It’s difficult to try and console you, it’s a shitty thing and you're a nice guy… "

11:37 - Court resumes. Roux goes over more "kiss, kiss" messages. This time from 13 February last year. Hours before OP shot Reeva to death.

Reeva wrote to OP: "Good luck with everything today baba xxx let me know how things go!"

11:17 - Pistorius walks into court before proceedings started this morning. See more photos here.  Themba Hadebe from AP took the photo below:

11:15 - Roux asks for tea break. Judge grants it.

11:11 - MORE "I miss you"; "boo", etc messages. In the days before her death, it certainly sounds as if Reeva and the Paralympian were close.

11:10 - Reporters in court say OP is crying again as he reads loving messages. Gina Myers, Reeva's friend, looks down. "You are more in control than you think," Reeva wrote to OP.

11:08 - Now onto 11 February, three days before shooting. A message from Reeva to OP in which she said she was concerned about him because of all the pressure on him.

Then there was another message in which she thanked him for being there. She said she was "pro-us".

11:06 - Now into messages from 5 February. It's more loving messages. She feared she would "cramp your style". He said she's not doing that.

11:01 - Oh. Sam Taylor has just deleted that tweet in which she might have been referring to OP.

Meanwhile, Roux and OP are going over messages from 31 January and 1 February in which Reeva and OP say they miss each other.

10:56 - More 'kiss, kiss' messages, "boo". That sort of thing.

10:52 - We're now onto messages from 25 January, weeks before Reeva's death.

Pistorius: "I am soon my love" he replied in response to her saying he should come home, she wanted to feel his arms around her.

10:50 - OP then reads a message in which she said "I miss you more than anything" to which he replied with more smiley faces.

10:49 - OP gets emotional as he reads out the couple's messages. "Baba!!!! I'm the luckiest guy ever," he said to her.

10:45 - Roux now refers to messages on 22 January. The messages are loving and caring. More smiley faces.

Reeva's friend Gina Myers shakes her head as OP reads messages between him and Reeva. Gina's sister puts an arm around her, tweets Sapa.

10:42 -  OP says he offered to help Reeva's mom June obtain a liquor license for a bar.

Meanwhile, OP's ex, Sam Taylor has just tweeted: "Last lies you get to tell.. You better make it worth your while." She might be referring to her former partner. Or not.

10:40 - Reeva told OP how much she missed him at an event she attended without him.

10:37 - OP explains that "amazeballs" (used in other messages) means... amazing. He's detailing the loving relationship he had with Reeva.

10:37 - OP in a message to Reeva: "I wish I was with you tonight, you make me proud." He was upset that he couldn't go to a function with her.

10:35 - OP says there were times Reeva wasn't happy with her appearance and was stressed about her diet - he told her she looked amazing.

10:34 - Reeva said that even though they argue, the issues aren't "fundamental". OP to her: "I'm crazy about you. When I look at you I smile inside."

10:31 - OP reads a message from Reeva saying "since Cape Town I hope that you've noticed a change in me... I've let go". 

Reeva sent OP a message: "Dating you comes with sick people trying to fill my head with doubt."

OP "slumps slowly each time he tackles another text message", tweets Andrew Harding. June Steenkamp still looks stony-faced while OP goes over the messages.

10:29 - OP says Sam Taylor pursued him after "confessing" to cheating on him but he didn't speak to her again.

10:28 - OP says he was helping Reeva sign with a new model agency at the time of her death. He explains to Roux was "boo" (used in messages) meant. Says it is a term of affection used by young people.

10:26 - OP says Reeva believed Sam Taylor was setting up fake social media accounts to attack her. He says she hadn't dealt with that level of attention before. "It was very difficult for her."

10:25 - OP says he refused to answer Sam Taylor's repeated messages. "I knew what was right and wrong."

OP on Taylor: "The headlines in all the papers were that I was cheating on her."

10:23 - Reeva got lots of hate mail because she dated OP. OP says last "correspondence" with Sam Taylor was in October 2012. She confessed to "sleeping with a guy" she was seeing while I was at the Olympics.

10:23 - OP: She really did get the way I needed to live my life, to support training. 

He says those who haven't dated athletes don't realise how strict the diet is and how strict the way of life is but Reeva did.

10:21 - Reeva wrote: "I'll help you with the houses, new and old."

10:20 - Oscar reads a message from Reeva: “I’m by your side,” ahead of the big year ahead. She supports him. He saysthere was a lot of pressure on him - media, money, training.

10:18 - OP reads out message where he told Reeva not to go for a run "because I didn't think her area was safe... I cared about her".

10:15 - OP now reads out messages between him and Reeva of smiley faces and words of care.

10:14 -  Roux refers OP to Exhibit DDD.

10:13 - Reeva had been in a difficult relationship in the past and she told me she often got her back up against the wall fairly easily, says OP. 

10:11 - OP: I don't like to text, if you see my phone history...I don't believe things get put across in the right way... I spoke to her that night and we sorted out the argument that we had. I think Reeva liked writing things down more.

10:09 - She was unhappy after attending an event with OP. He wanted to leave straight away but she stopped to talk to people she knew (being the "kind-hearted person she was", says OP). They left 40 minutes later and started fighting in the car.

10:08 - OP now reads out another message from a very upset Reeva. "I regards myself as a lady but I didn't feel like one tonight," she wrote to OP.

10:04 - Some confusion now about Whatsapp messages. Nel says he's confused, there's no whatsapp saying that the argument is over.

Roux reiterates it's the message saying "Baby" that shows the air is clear.

10:02 - The WhatsApp messages between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp show a cycle of abuse, a criminologist has told News24. Watch here: 

9:58 - OP: I tried to phone her, she didn't pick up, I started to type a message apologising.

OP said in his apology to Reeva, he was "tired and sick but that isn't an excuse".

Then there are a series of 'kisses' exchange messages.

9:56 - He says he didn't talk to her for rest of afternoon until she sent me that text…

"Reeva's friend Gina had hand over mouth, shaking head slightly, crying a bit," tweets reporter Rebecca Davis.

9:55 - OP details how Reeva hadn't introduced him to a man she was speaking to at the party and this upset him. "I made my presence known to him. I think maybe I was being sensitive and maybe insecure and jealous."

9:53 - It sounds as if OP's is in tears. Roux asks for background to Reeva's long message. OP says he thinks it was a bad day "in our relationship".He says they were at an engagement party for Darren Fresco.

9:52 - OP still reading Reeva's message: "We're living in a double-standard relationship. You're quick to act cold. You've dated a lot of people."She also said in this message: "You make me happy 90% of the time." His voice quavers as he reads "I'm the girl who fell in love with you".

9:50 - OP now goes over one of the long messages Reeva sent him. During which she said he "picked on me incessantly" and accused her of flirting with others. His voice breaks as he speaks.

9:49 - OP reads a message inviting Reeva to a friend's 50th birthday party.

Roux: Is there any unhappiness? OP: It was resolved, no unhappiness.

9:47 - "Pistorius's hands are shaking as he holds onto his binder, full of the text messages the state used to highlight arguments the couple had," tweets reporter Findlay.

9:46 - OP asked about message in which Reeva says "I wasn't a stripper or a ho". He says he was upset about her health. OP: She was defensive, thinking I was overreacting. 

9:45 - Roux refers OP to message from Reeva on 19 January about his obsession with rabbits.

9:42 - We had a common interest in cars. She was a car enthusiast, says OP, as he looks over transcripts of messages.

9:39 - Reeva asked me to help with her contracts for work. I helped her with things pertaining to her future, says OP.

Roux now refers to the Whatsapp messages (in which Reeva sometimes complained of OP's ways).

9:37 - I was very keen on Reeva. I think at times I was more into her than she was into me, says OP. Around mid-January we started talking about future plans, he says. I booked her to come with me on a flight to Brazil, he says.

He says they also started looking at interior decorating plans for the home he bought in Johannesburg.

9:36 -  The first six days we knew each other, we saw each other every day, says OP.

He sounds as if he's trying to hold back tears. 

9:34 - OP: I had to attend a sports awards event but forgot that he RSVPd with a partner - Justin Divaris suggested I take Reeva.

After sports awards they spoke till 03:00 in the morning. He later told his friend that he had the "most amazing time".

9:33 - Pistorius says he met Reeva on 4 November 2012 at a 'track day'. He says they hit it off over lunch.

9:32 - Court resumes. 

9:29 - Pistorius is in the witness box ready to continue testifying. Judge Masipa should be arriving any moment now.

The police also have a clinical psychologist - Major Bronwynn Stollarz - in court.

9:09 - Pistorius " is back in court this morning, sitting with his legal team. Reeva Steenkamp's mother (June) was here early too", tweets the BBC's Andrew Harding.

9:06 - Pistorius admitted on Monday that after his mother died when he was 15, he smoked dagga.

"In the month and a half, My Lady... when my mother passed away when I was 15, I smoked dagga with a friend," he said during testimony in his murder trial.

"I haven't taken any substances since then."

9:01 - Barry Roux announced on Monday that the defence would call 14 to 17 witnesses on evidence relating to ballistics, pathology, sound testing, psychology. 

8:51 - Oh, just in case you'd forgotten, Dewani is also arriving in Cape Town.We're doing updates on that too.

8:48 - As expected , Pistorius is all over the papers. Again.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

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