Oscar Pistorius 'not wearing legs' as he swung cricket bat
Police forensics expert recreates toilet door scene in court, undermining athlete’s version of events
OSCAR PISTORIUS was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he swung a cricket bat at his toilet door after shooting Reeva Steenkamp, a police forensics expert has claimed.
The scene of the crime was recreated for the Pretoria court today, including the hardwood toilet door through which Steenkamp was shot.
Colonel Johannes Gerhard Vermeulen, commander of the material analysis division of the South African Police Service, said there were two marks that were "consistent with hitting the door or bashing the door with the cricket bat".
In his bail application last year, Pistorius said he was on his stumps when he opened fire, but when he went back to the bedroom, he realised Steenkamp was not there, and strapped on his prostheses to bash down the door.
In a dramatic start to the eighth day, Vermeulen swung the cricket bat Pistorius used in a bid to show that the athlete was either on his knees or not wearing his prosthetic legs when he struck the door, reports The Times.
Pistorius's defence asked Vermeulen to swing again from further away, but on that occasion the bat made impact about 10cm lower – where there was no mark. Vermeulen added that he would have been "in an uncomfortable position, not a natural position" to swing the bat in that way.
The defence also asked Vermeulen to go down on his knees and lift his feet, to simulate the sensation of not having any lower legs. Vermeulen admitted he was off balance and would have therefore struggled to swing the cricket bat, but told the court: "If [Pistorius] had enough balance to fire a firearm, then I suspect he would have enough balance to hit the door."
Pistorius has admitted killing Steenkamp but insists he mistook her for a dangerous intruder. Vermeulen today agreed with the defence that the shots happened before Pistorius battered the door with the bat.
Oscar Pistorius: pathologist casts doubt on athlete's story
A PATHOLOGIST today cast doubt on Oscar Pistorius's version of events on the night he shot Reeva Steenkamp, claiming that the model had eaten no more than two hours before she died.
Pistorius is on trial for the murder of Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year. In his affidavit, he claimed the couple had spent the evening at home on 13 February 2013. They had a quiet dinner and went to his bedroom by 10pm, where Reeva did her yoga exercises and then went to sleep.
However, Professor Gert Saayman told the Pretoria court today that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably ate after 1am.
The pathologist, who said he had conducted between 10,000 and 15,000 autopsies over 30 years, also said that it would have been "abnormal" for the victim not to scream after suffering gunshots to the hip and arm.
This backs up first witness and neighbour Michelle Burger's claim that she heard a woman's screams continue as the shooting went on.
Pistorius was said to be much more composed in court today after repeatedly throwing up yesterday as Saayman described Steenkamp’s injuries.
Also on the stand today was Darren Fresco, who passed Pistorius a gun in a crowded Johannesburg restaurant and was with Pistorius when he allegedly fired a gun through a sunroof of a car.
Fresco said Pistorius had a "big love of weapons" and had spent time with him on the shooting range.
However, the Daily Telegraph said Fresco appeared "rattled and irritated" by the line of questioning from the defence. He struggled to remember specific details of the events and contradicted earlier witness testimonies.
He denied claims that he and Pistorius had discussed shooting a traffic light while driving in his car. He also said that although Pistorius had laughed after shooting the gun, he himself had not. Fresco claimed he had simply asked Pistorius if he was "f***ing mad". Fresco had allegedly been driving at 260kph (162mph) earlier in the day, more than double the speed limit.
Oscar Pistorius vomits as Reeva's injuries detailed by pathologist
OSCAR PISTORIUS was sick in court today as a pathologist described in detail the injuries he had inflicted on his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, when he shot her on Valentine's Day last year.
The athlete blocked his ears and threw up into a bucket as Professor Gert Saayman, head of forensic medicine at the University of Pretoria, described the findings of his post-mortem.
Saayman had earlier won a ruling to prohibit the live broadcast of his evidence because he said its graphic and very personal nature would "compromise the dignity of the deceased".
Blogging and tweeting of his testimony was also banned, but lawyers argued that to restrict coverage any further would be a "severe restriction of freedom of expression and the principle of open justice".
Saayman described the gunshot wounds to Steenkamp's hip, head and right arm, as well as a wound to her left hand, on the skin between the index and third finger, but said it was impossible to say which way the bullet had travelled.
He also explained that she was wearing "grey sports casual shorts" and a sleeveless black vest, the first time the court had heard what the victim was wearing when she died.
Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned proceedings moments into the testimony so that Pistorius could compose himself. The athlete's sister Aimee joined him in the dock with a packet of wet-wipes, while his brother Carl leant over and put a hand on his head, reports The Times.
But the vomiting started again almost as soon as Saayman resumed his testimony, prompting Judge Masipa to ask the runner's defence lawyers to "attend to the accused".
Barry Roux, Pistorius's defence lawyer, eventually urged the court to continue as he said the evidence would always be hard for his client to hear.
The sprinter has admitted killing his girlfriend but insists he mistook her for an intruder and denies the prosecution's charge of premeditated murder.
Oscar Pistorius 'cheated on ex' with Reeva Steenkamp
OSCAR PISTORIUS'S former girlfriend has accused the athlete of cheating on her with Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he shot dead at his home last year, and of firing a gun through an open sunroof.
Samantha Taylor, 20, was in the Pretoria High Court today as a witness in the trial in which Pistorius is charged with the murder of Steenkamp, his then girlfriend, on Valentine's Day last year.
Taylor told the court about an occasion when she, Pistorius and friends, including Darren Fresco, were stopped for speeding by a police officer.
She claimed Pistorius had shouted at the officer for touching his gun and afterwards talked with Fresco about shooting a "robot", meaning a traffic light, to "annoy" the police. Instead Pistorius fired a shot out of the open sunroof, she said, which made a "very, very loud sound" and both Pistorius and Fresco laughed.
When asked how her relationship ended with Pistorius, she told the court: "He cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp."
However, Barry Roux, Pistorius's defence lawyer, said he had emails to prove that the athlete was no longer in a relationship with her when he started his relationship with Steenkamp. Roux claimed he also had email evidence showing Taylor had in fact cheated on him while he was away at the London Olympics in 2012.
The athlete's defence has claimed that the sounds of a woman screaming – heard by all four neighbours who have so far testified – were in fact Pistorius's own "high pitched screams" that "sound like a woman", reports The Independent.
But Taylor, who repeatedly broke down in tears while giving evidence, stated that she had heard Pistorius scream at her "sister, best friend, another friend and his best friend" and he "never sounded like a woman". She nevertheless conceded that she had not heard him scream when he was in fear for his life.
Taylor said Pistorius was "often" worried about intruders breaking into the house and, on one occasion, he woke her up in the night thinking he heard an intruder and left the bedroom with his gun.
The trial: week one
During the first week of the Oscar Pistorius trial, most of the evidence has revolved around the timing of the shots, whether a light was on when Pistorius opened fire, and who let out a scream heard by several witnesses – Pistorius or Steenkamp.
“Two witnesses claim that a woman was heard screaming before a second set of gunshots – suggesting Pistorius knew who he was shooting,” the Daily Telegraph reports. “The defence says the second set of bangs was in fact Pistorius, realising he had shot Miss Steenkamp by mistake through the door of the locked bathroom and then smashing it down with the cricket bat.”
On the matter of the light, the defence say the flat was dark because Pistorius was too frightened to turn on the lights, and so he could not see where he was shooting.
The court also heard about previous incidents in which Pistorius is alleged to have fired a pistol, either in anger or by accident. He denies those charges, as well as the murder of Steenkamp.
Next week, according to the Independent, “more witnesses who will attest to Pistorius’s jealous nature and furious temper”.
These will include “the former footballer Mark Bachelor, who claims to have heard the athlete threaten to break an ex-boyfriend’s legs”.
Oscar Pistorius found praying over Reeva Steenkamp's body
OSCAR PISTORIUS was found crying and praying over Reeva Steenkamp's body, promising to dedicate his life to God if she would only live, the Pretoria court heard today.
The latest witness to testify in the murder trial is Johan Stipp, a doctor and neighbour of Pistorius, who drove to the athlete's house on the night of the shooting, 14 February 2013, after hearing gunshots and screams.
He told the court that he found Pistorius weeping and crying over Steenkamp, who was lying on her back with gunshot wounds on her upper arm and thigh. The first thing Pistorius apparently said to him was: "I shot her, I thought she was a burglar. I shot her.''
Stipp added: "He definitely wanted her to live. He looked sincere to me: he was crying, there were tears on his face. He was actively trying to assist her, with one hand on the groin wound and another trying to help her to breathe."
Stipp said that at one point he was even concerned that Pistorius might kill himself because he was "emotionally very, very upset".
Stipp, a radiologist, said he could see that Steenkamp was "mortally wounded" and spoke graphically in court about brain tissue being mingled with her hair. The description was too much for Pistorius, who was dry heaving as a police officer rushed over with a plastic bag, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Barry Roux, Pistorius's defence lawyer, jumped at the chance to fit Stipp's order of events with his own.
The doctor claimed he was awoken by "three loud bangs", which he believed to be gunshots, followed by screams that sounded like they came from a woman, and then heard three more bangs that also sounded like shots.
Roux said it would have been impossible for Steenkamp to scream after she was shot. He put it to Stipp that he had heard gunshots, then the screams of Pistorius, followed by the sound of Pistorius knocking down the toilet door with a cricket bat.
Stipp agreed that Steenkamp could not have screamed after she was shot.
The doctor also claimed that Pistorius's bathroom light was on before the screaming started, contradicting the athlete's version of events.
OSCAR PISTORIUS asked a friend to take the blame after a gun was accidentally fired in a busy Johannesburg restaurant, the North Gauteng High Court heard today.
The Pistorius trial has been hearing from Kevin Lerena, a professional boxer, who joined the Paralympian for lunch at Tashas café in Melrose Arch, an upmarket suburb of Johannesburg, on 11 January 2013, weeks before the death of Reeva Steenkamp.
British Olympic sprinter Martyn Rooney and another friend, Darren Fresco, were also there.
Lerena said Fresco passed a pistol to Pistorius under the table, having told the sprinter he was "one up" – which Lerena understood to mean there was a bullet loaded into the chamber, reports The Times.
"Then a shot went off in the restaurant and there was complete silence," said Lerena. "I looked down, I was in shock. Exactly where my foot was, there was a hole in the floor."
The boxer said his toe was grazed and bleeding, while Pistorius was "very surprised, very shocked and very apologetic".
Lerena told the court: "Before anyone came to the table I do remember Oscar saying: 'Please Darren, just say it was you.' I remember he said: 'Please take the blame for me; there's too much media hype around me.' When the restaurant manager came up Darren took the blame."
Lerena added that he could not confirm word for word what was said as he was in "complete shock".
Jason Loupis, the owner of the restaurant, later told the court that Fresco had apologised and claimed his gun fell out of his tracksuit trousers. The court also heard that there were 220 people in the restaurant at the time, including a child sitting at a table next to the four men.
The incident forms the basis of one of three separate firearms charges that Pistorius is facing, in addition to the main charge of Steenkamp's murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all four charges.
Oscar Pistorius breaks down in tears over Reeva evidence
OSCAR PISTORIUS broke down in tears today as his defence lawyer described the catastrophic injuries suffered by Reeva Steenkamp when he shot her in the head.
His lawyer, Barry Roux, claimed the victim would have been unable to make a sound after she was shot by the athlete on 14 February 2013. His claim appeared to contradict evidence given by the first two witnesses, who testified today.
Dr Michelle Burger, Pistorius's neighbour, told the court she thought she heard a woman's screams continue as the firing went on and added that "very shortly after the last shot was the last time I heard her voice".
However, Roux told the court: "That total impact of shots would not have allowed her to scream. With the head shot she would have dropped down immediately."
The Daily Telegraph reports that Pistorius buried his face in his hands, before rubbing the back of his neck and wiping his eyes with a tissue.
A second witness, Estelle van der Merwe, who lived even closer to Pistorius than Burger, said she heard an argument from the athlete's house from 1.56am, more than an hour before he opened fire.
"From where I was... it sounded like two persons were involved in an argument, but I couldn't hear the other person's voice," she said.
However, Van der Merwe said that after she heard four bangs there was "total silence".
"After I heard the four shots, I heard my husband waking up," she said. "I asked my husband what that was – he said that they were firearm sounds, gunshots."
Van der Merwe said her husband got up and looked out of the window but could not see anything. "I then heard someone crying out loudly," she said. "I asked my husband who was crying like that and he said it was Oscar. To me, it sounded like a woman's voice."
Pistorius denies murder and insists that he mistook Steenkamp for a dangerous intruder.
Oscar Pistorius trial: witness recalls 'bloodcurdling screams'
JUST hours into the Oscar Pistorius trial, the prosecution's first witness has described hearing a woman's "bloodcurdling screams" on the night of Reeva Steenkamp's death.
Michelle Burger, a lecturer at the University of Pretoria and one of Pistorius's neighbours, told the court that she woke up after 3am on 14 February 2013 hearing a woman's "terrible screams".
Burger said she also heard a man screaming for help and that her husband phoned security guards to tell them that their neighbours were being attacked.
Burger described the woman's screams as "worse, more intense" and added: "It was a climax. She was very scared."
Just after the screams, Burger said she heard four gunshots and recalled telling her husband: "I hope that woman did not watch her husband being shot in front of her."
The court was shown a photograph taken from Burger's bedroom balcony, said to be 177 metres from Pistorius's house. Her bedroom window faces towards Pistorius's home and was said to be open due to heat and a lack of air conditioning.
She told the court: "It was very traumatic for me... it was bloodcurdling screams. It leaves you cold, you can't translate into words the anxiousness of her voice."
Burger said she did not initially report what she heard to authorities but came forward after hearing of other witnesses who lived further away from Pistorius's home. She said "we are not media people" and wanted to report the incident privately, but was then visited by police.
Defence lawyer Barry Roux later asked Burger whether she may in fact have heard the shouts of a desperate man and suggested that Pistorius may sound like a woman when he is anxious. The witness insisted she heard two people, a man and a woman, and four gunshots, but said she never heard the sound of a cricket bat striking a door.
Earlier this morning, Pistorius pleaded not guilty to murder, as well as a series of firearms charges.
For much of the opening statement by defence counsel Kenny Oldwage, Pistorius had his eyes closed and occasionally sighed, reports Sky News.
Oldwage told the court that Pistorius believed an intruder was in his bathroom when he shot Steenkamp and denied allegations that the pair had argued before the shooting.
Oscar Pistorius arrives in court for Steenkamp murder trial
OSCAR PISTORIUS has arrived in court in Pretoria to begin his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The South African athlete, who shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door in his home on 14 February 2013, is said to be looking more composed than at last year's hearings, where he broke down in tears.
Prosecutors are seeking to prove that Pistorius committed pre-meditated murder, but the Paralympian claims he mistook his girlfriend for a dangerous intruder.
The victim's mother, June Steenkamp, told the Mail on Sunday ahead of the trial: "I want to look at Oscar, really look him in the eyes, and see for myself the truth about what he did to Reeva, and whatever the court decides at the end of his trial, I will be ready to forgive him."
Carrying a cushion, Pistorius walked past her this morning as he took his seat, reports BBC correspondent Milton Nkosi, but did not appear to make eye contact. Pistorius's family and the Steenkamps are said to be sharing the same bench, separated by just a few metres of space.
The trial failed to start on time, but seasoned Pretoria court reporters said this was not unusual.
For the first time in South Africa, parts of the trial will be televised live, including opening arguments, evidence of experts, police witnesses and closing arguments. The testimony of the accused and his witnesses is exempt.
The defence team has hired its own typists to transcribe the entire proceedings for them to read each night, according to Sky reporter Alex Crawford.
There are said to be 80 journalists, including 40 South African reporters and 40 members of the foreign media, with access to the courtroom. A further 200 journalists have access to an "overspill" room outside. Three weeks has been allocated for the trial, but legal analysts have said it could take longer.
The 27-year-old double amputee, who won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also competed at the Olympics, could face life imprisonment if found guilty of pre-mediated murder.
Oscar Pistorius: South Africa’s legal stars prepare for battle
THE international media will descend on Pretoria tomorrow for the first day of Oscar Pistorius’s trial for the alleged murder of Reeva Steenkamp. While all eyes will be on the world-famous Paralympian, it will be South Africa’s legal heavyweights who will ultimately battle it out on the court floor...
Pistorius' defence: Barry Roux
In the Pistorius camp the key figure is defence lawyer Barry Roux, a man The Guardian describes as a tough-talking “legal gun for hire”. Roux is a senior counsel – the South African equivalent of a QC – and made a strong impression at pre-trial hearings by reducing a senior police detective, Hilton Botha, to a “stuttering wreck”.
“This is like watching a baby seal getting clubbed,” tweeted a South African journalist as Roux’s brutal cross-examination of Botha gathered pace. The police officer was subsequently removed from the case when it was discovered he was facing seven counts of attempted murder himself. Roux was called to the bar in 1982 and now earns around 50,000R (about £3,200) a day for criminal work. He’s not as “slick or dapper” as Johnnie Cochran, the flamboyant lawyer who got OJ Simpson acquitted of murder, says the New York Post. But “he’s twice as relentless.”
Prosecution: Gerrie Nel
The man hoping to put Pistorius behind bars for the premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is equally redoubtable. State prosecutor Gerrie Nel is no stranger to big cases, having successfully jailed South Africa’s police chief Jackie Selebi on corruption charges in 2010. During the investigation of Selebi, Nel was woken by 20 police officers who arrested him and his wife in front of their children on “trumped-up fraud charges”, the Post says. The charges were later dismissed and Selebi was handed a 15-year jail term.
Top detective: Vinesh Moonoo
The shortcomings of the police investigation carried out in the immediate aftermath of the 14 February shooting were brutally exposed by Roux at the pre-trial hearings. But Hilton Botha’s replacement, detective Vinesh Moonoo, has a reputation as the “top gumshoe” in the South African police force. He has built a case using psychologists as well as forensic, ballistics and technology experts. The 53-year-old has a blemish-free reputation and has mostly succeeded in staying off the media radar. In one rare interview he admitted that he knew when he was a schoolboy that he wanted to become a police officer. He has since become the “top detective in the SA Police Service” according to the force’s commissioner Riah Phiyega.
Judge: Thokozile Masipa
Johannesburg High Court judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa has been assigned to the Pistorius trial. A former journalist, social worker and advocate, Masipa became the country’s second black female judge in 1998, after former Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro, and has presided over several high-profile criminal trials. She has spoken out strongly about violence against women and has made it clear that no one is above the law. She last year sentenced notorious house robber and rapist Shepherd Moyo to 252 years in prison, reports South Africa’s Times newspaper. In 2001, she sentenced two rapists to life imprisonment, warning that violence against women and children, especially rape, were increasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. She also made headlines when she sentenced a policeman to life imprisonment in 2009 after he shot dead his former wife. She told him: “No one is above the law. You deserve to go to jail for life because you are not a protector. You are a killer.”
Oscar Pistorius murder case: the story so far
What do we know for certain?
In the early hours of 14 February 2013, Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door at his villa in a Pretoria gated community. Three of the bullets hit her, piercing her skull and shattering her right elbow and hip bones. By the time paramedics and police arrived, at around 4.15am, Steenkamp was dead, her body covered with bloody towels. Her cause of death was given as multiple gunshot wounds.
What charges does Pistorius face?
The athlete, who currently remains free on bail, has been charged with murder and the illegal possession of ammunition in his Pretoria home. He was also charged with recklessly shooting his gun out of the open sunroof of a car in 2012 and firing someone else's handgun at a restaurant weeks before Steenkamp's death. However, the latter two charges may be dealt with at a later date.
What is Pistorius's defence?
Pistorius denies murder, claiming he shot Steenkamp because he mistakenly believed she was a dangerous intruder. In his defence affidavit, he insists that they had been "deeply in love" and that he could not have been happier before she died. They went to bed after a quiet dinner on 13 February, said Pistorius, but he later awoke in the night and heard a noise in the bathroom. Pistorius claims it was pitch black and that he thought Steenkamp was in bed. Without stopping to put on his prosthetic legs, he took the 9mm Parabellum he kept under his bed and headed for the toilet – a small cubicle with a door within his bathroom.
Feeling vulnerable without his prosthetic legs, he screamed at the "intruder" to get out of the house and for Steenkamp to phone the police, he said. Then he fired four shots at the door and returned to the bed. Realising that it was empty, he called out for Steenkamp and tried to get into the toilet, first by putting on his legs and kicking at the door, then successfully using a cricket bat to bash through the door panels. He found Steenkamp slumped over but alive and called for an ambulance. She died in his arms as he tried to get her to hospital.
What is the prosecution arguing?
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has questioned Pistorius's story, asking why a burglar would lock himself in a toilet and how the athlete had grabbed his pistol from under the bed without noticing that the bed was empty. Why, Nel asked, did Steenkamp not speak to him from the toilet as he called out her name? And even if Pistorius did believe Steenkamp was an intruder, the prosecution says it does not change the fact that he fired the shots with the intention to kill. Nel is seeking to prove Pistorius committed premeditated murder, arguing that the offence does not require months of planning, but could simply mean walking a short distance with the intention to kill.
What sentence does Pistorius face?
If convicted of premeditated murder, Pistorius faces life imprisonment, with no prospect of parole for at least 25 years. The lesser charge of culpable homicide could still mean a decade in jail.
What other questions will be asked during the trial?
- Were Pistorius and Steenkamp arguing? Police claim neighbours heard the couple fighting, with one witness reporting the sound of a woman screaming, followed by gunshots and then more screams. Whether the witnesses were actually in earshot is still to be determined.
- What was Pistorius looking at on the internet? According to a leaked document believed to be part of the court investigation, the athlete was surfing porn websites on his mobile phone on the night he shot Steenkamp. The prosecution might try to argue that this contradicts his version of "a loving couple spending their time together".
- What else is on Pistorius's phone? Four mobiles were allegedly found on the bathroom floor after the murder, but Pistorius claimed he had "forgotten" his passcode for one of them. Apple has helped detectives gain access to it, but police still need help in unlocking several accounts on the mobile and are experiencing bureaucratic delays in the United States.
- Was Pistorius wearing his prosthetic legs? The prosecution initially claimed that Pistorius was wearing his legs when he fired the shots, strengthening the case for premeditated murder. However, a ballistic expert for the state has since said this was unlikely.
- Who did Pistorius call for help? Pistorius claims he called a member of the estate's administration team to phone an ambulance and also spoke to Netcare, South Africa's largest private emergency response company. But prosecutors say security guards phoned him after the shooting to see if everything was all right and he allegedly said the situation was "fine" and did not ask for their assistance.
Will the trial be televised?
Yes, South African judges reached a landmark agreement this week to broadcast parts of the trial live from Pretoria's High Court using three small, unmanned cameras. Viewers will be able to watch the lawyers' opening and closing arguments, evidence from experts and the final judgment. However, Pistorius's testimony and that of the witnesses will not be televised. The athlete’s legal team had argued that broadcasting from the court would deny Pistorius the right to a fair trial, but judges believe that it is in the public interest to do so and would help dispel “unfounded perceptions” that the country’s legal system treats the rich and famous “with kid gloves”.
Oscar Pistorius trial: South African law may favour athlete
SOUTH AFRICAN law may work in Oscar Pistorius's favour during his upcoming trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a criminal law expert has said.
William Booth, a practising lawyer in Cape Town, believes the prosecution will "struggle" to prove that Pistorius planned to murder his girlfriend Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year and that the athlete may benefit from the leeway offered in the country's self-defence legislation.
In a bid to increase Pistorius's sentence, the state is seeking to prove that he committed pre-mediated murder. The Paralympian claims he believed Steenkamp was a dangerous intruder when he fired the shots.
As in the UK and United States, there is no onus on the athlete to prove his innocence. The prosecution will have to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that Pistorius planned to murder Steenkamp.
But Booth told South Africa's News24 that it will be difficult to do so because there are no witnesses to testify that he arranged the murder beforehand. Even if he "planned" the murder in the time it took him to walk to the bathroom, there is no direct evidence, he said.
"There was nobody there except for Oscar and Reeva, and Oscar is the only one who can actually say what took place," said Booth. "The court can draw inferences, what we call circumstantial evidence, but no direct evidence."
He explained that South Africa also gives far more leeway to the use of force in self-defence than many other countries. "If you mistakenly believe that somebody is about to attack you or you believe there is an intruder in your house that poses a threat to you or the life of others in your home, you are allowed to take necessary action," he said. "That could be to shoot an intruder."
This differs from Britain, for example, where the law allows for reasonable force to be used against an intruder, but the courts tend to set a much stricter definition of what that entails.
Nevertheless, the Pretoria court will have to determine whether Pistorius's fear of danger was genuine and whether it is a sufficient defence to allow him to be acquitted.
Oscar Pistorius police call on Apple to unlock iPhone secrets
WITH just days to go before the Oscar Pistorius trial begins, police investigating the murder of Reeva Steenkamp have reportedly flown to the United States in a last-minute bid for further evidence.
According to South Africa's Times newspaper, three senior police officers will visit Apple's headquarters in California with Pistorius's iPhone, which could hold clues to the case.
A number of mobile phones were said to be found on the bathroom floor in Pistorius's Pretoria villa after he shot his girlfriend Steenkamp through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day last year.
While Pistorius insists he thought Steenkamp was a dangerous intruder, the prosecution is seeking to prove that the athlete planned her murder.
The Paralympian claimed he had forgotten a passcode for his iPhone, forcing detectives to ask Apple for help. Police have experienced bureaucratic legal delays in unlocking the phone, with US courts and the FBI involved.
Last week it was reported that they managed to gain some access, followed by claims that they had discovered porn sites in his internet search history on the night of the murder.
Detectives still need further help to access several accounts. A source speaking to the Times claims the information sought relates to SMS and Whatsapp messages. Investigators are also said to be trying to recover deleted data.
"There is a great interest around exactly what was sent, what calls were made and precisely what was deleted from the devices. We believe once we have this information, Mr Pistorius will have a number of pertinent questions to answer," said the insider.
The South African Police Service, which yesterday insisted that the investigation was "complete" and that it was "ready for trial", has not confirmed how many devices were taken to the US.
The three-man team visiting Apple includes Lieutenant-General Vineshkumar Moonoo, who is overseeing the investigation, Captain Francois Moller, a mobile phone records analysis expert, and Colonel Mike Sales, commander of the country's detective services technical support unit.
Oscar Pistorius 'not wearing legs' when he shot Reeva
A BALLISTICS expert has said Oscar Pistorius was unlikely to have been wearing his prosthetic legs when he fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, contradicting previous claims by the prosecution.
As the South African athlete prepares to stand trial on 3 March in Pretoria, local media have published details from leaked court documents.
In preliminary hearings, the prosecution claimed Pistorius had put on his prosthetic legs, walked to his bathroom and fired at the model through the toilet door in a premeditated murder on Valentine's Day morning in 2013.
However, prosecution documents seen by broadcaster eNCA suggest the state's own ballistic expert has backed up Pistorius's claims that he was on his stumps when he fired the shots.
Pistorius denies murder, claiming he believed Steenkamp was a dangerous intruder when he shot her through the locked toilet door.
According to the leaked prosecution documents, Steenkamp was standing and facing the door when she was shot and was believed to have been wearing a pair of Pistorius's shorts and one of his t-shirts.
The state has also admitted it did not find testosterone in Pistorius's home, another about-turn from the police testimony given last year.
South Africa's Eye Witness News says the prosecution will present five witnesses who heard screams that night, which stopped at the same time as the gunshots.
The prosecution is still seeking to prove that Pistorius committed pre-meditated murder, but admits it has no clear motive or understanding of what the couple may have argued about in the moments before the shooting.
It claims to have evidence that security guards at Pistorius's luxury complex phoned him after the shooting to ask if everything was all right at his home. He allegedly replied the situation was "fine" and did not call for their assistance.
The National Prosecuting Authority has denied leaking the documents.
Oscar Pistorius breaks silence on Valentine's Day anniversary
SOUTH AFRICAN athlete Oscar Pistorius has spoken of his "sorrow" and "trauma" exactly one year after he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius, who is due to go on trial for Steenkamp's murder in March, claims he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her through a toilet door on Valentine's Day last year.
Today he published a rare statement on his website saying that "no words" could adequately capture his feelings about the "devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved – and continues to love – Reeva".
He added: "The pain and sadness – especially for Reeva's parents, family and friends – consumes me with sorrow. The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life."
In his first tweet since 13 February 2013, Pistorius published a link to the statement to his 299,000 Twitter fans, describing it as "a few words from my heart".
Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and reality TV star, was shot three times while she was in the bathroom of Pistorius's home in Pretoria.
The 27-year-old double amputee, who won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and fought a legal battle to also compete at the Olympics, has denied prosecution claims that he and Steenkamp had argued in the hours before the shooting. Much of the case is expected to depend on ballistic evidence from the scene.
Steenkamp's uncle, Michael, said there would be a private family gathering near Cape Town to mark the anniversary of her death, though her parents and brothers would not attend.
Earlier this week, Pistorius's lawyers confirmed they had reached an out-of-court settlement with Pretoria blogger Cassidy Taylor-Memmory, who accused the athlete of injuring her at a party in 2009. He allegedly punched a door that then fell on her leg.
Oscar Pistorius lawyers 'want settlement with Steenkamps'
LAWYERS acting for Oscar Pistorius are trying "desperately" to reach an out-of-court settlement with the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, the model he shot dead on Valentine's Day, it has been claimed.
Barry and June Steenkamp have been approached by the paralympian's lawyers in regards to their "multi-million rand civil claim for loss of income and emotional distress", the Johannesburg Times reports.
The lawyers are anxious to settle the lawsuit before the conclusion of the criminal trial, "in an attempt to reduce a possible payout," the paper says. The civil suit, though not entirely dependent on the criminal trial, would be strengthened if Pistorius was found to have killed Reeva deliberately, the paper says.
The Steenkamps took legal action because she helped them financially, including paying part of the rent on their home in Port Elizabeth. It is believed they are seeking three million rand in compensation for her death although no official figure has been released.
"We have no choice but to sue," June Steenkamp was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying. "Pistorius has placed us in this position. We are struggling financially — Reeva helped us."
June Steemkamp said that on the day her daughter died, she had promised to pay her parents' cable television subscription. "I was fretting that I would miss her first TV appearance. She told me not to worry, that she would send money."
Lawyers for the Steenkamps confirmed that "intense" discussions about a settlement were under way.
Pistorius will go on trial for the premeditated murder of Steenkamp on 3 March.
Oscar Pistorius sees formal murder charges for first time
THE TRIAL of Oscar Pistorius for the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp will take place in March next year.
The dates of 3 to 20 March were agreed at a hearing at Pretoria magistrates' court today – which would have been Steenkamp’s 30th birthday, reports the BBC.
The South African paralympian, widely known as the ‘Blade Runner’, denies murdering his girlfriend. He claims he shot her, on Valentine’s Day, through a locked bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder.
The Pistorius family prayed at length before this morning's proceedings. During the brief hearing, the judge asked Pistorius if he was well, to which he replied: "Under the circumstances, your honour."
The prosecution handed over details of its case against Pistorius, including a witness list and forensic reports.
Pistorius said it was the first time he has seen a copy of the indictment, which charged him with murder and contravention of the Firearms Control Act.
The detailed charges say Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius "did unlawfully and intentionally kill" Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February 2013 at 286 Bushwillow Street, Silverwoods Country Estate, Pretoria.
In the summary of substantial facts, it was claimed that "some of the state witnesses heard a woman scream, followed by moment of silence, then heard gunshots and then more screaming".
It also stated: "The accused said to witnesses on the scene that he thought she was an intruder. Even then, the accused shot with the direct intention to kill a person. An error in persona, will not affect the intention to kill a human being."
Court documents said more than 100 witnesses will be called to give evidence at the trial, including one of Pistorius's ex-girlfriends.
One South African journalist, Liezl Thom, reported that Pistorius "tenderly" wiped a tear from his sister Aimee's face after the case was postponed.
The 26-year-old, who made history at last year's Olympics as the first double-amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes, remains on bail. He faces a sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of premeditated murder.
Oscar Pistorius to face two new gun charges
OSCAR PISTORIUS is expected to face two additional charges when he returns to court on Monday.
The National Prosecuting Authority has informed the South African sprinter's lawyers that they plan to charge him with two counts of recklessly discharging a gun in a public place, the Daily Mirror reports.
It is believed that the new charges relate to two separate incidents.
The first happened when Pistorius allegedly fired his gun out of the sunroof of a friend's car as they returned home from a weekend away. The second relates to allegations he accidentally fired a friend's gun in a Johannesburg restaurant.
The new charges will be read out in court on Monday when the 26-year-old athlete is expected to be given details of the prosecution's case against him.
The 19 August court date coincides with what would have been the 30th birthday of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp who he shot dead at his home in Pretoria on Valentine's Day. Pistorius insists he shot Steenkamp through a bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder.
Oscar Pistorius: athlete in court on Reeva Steenkamp's birthday
OSCAR PISTORIUS is set to return to court on 19 August, the day his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp would have celebrated her 30th birthday.
Police probing Steenkamp’s death – the model was shot dead by Pistorius at his home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day – have concluded their investigation, according to Eyewitness News. When the Paralympian returns to court his defence team “will get a full picture of the evidence the state has against him and how it will try to prove that he murdered Steenkamp”.
Pistorius maintains that he shot his girlfriend through the bathroom door after mistaking her for a burglar.
It is understood that police are still trying to analyse the sprinter’s Apple iPhone which he used on the night he killed Steenkamp. Pistorius has told investigators he has forgotten the password to his iTunes account which is required to access any data held on the device.
It is hoped the password can be retrieved from Apple’s servers, Eyewitness News reports.
No date has been set for Pistorius’ trial, but it is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.
Oscar Pistorius's ten minutes in court - six key questions
OSCAR PISTORIUS appeared in court for the first time today since he was freed on bail in February over the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The Paralympian had to fight his way through a scrum of photographers outside the Pretoria court, but spoke only once during the 10-minute hearing. Here are six key questions raised by the athlete's re-emergence into the spotlight.
What was today's hearing all about? Today's pre-trial hearing was expected to be brief and it was. The prosecution said it needed more time for "further investigation" and had already agreed with the defence to postpone proceedings until 19 August.
Did the magistrate have anything to say? Acting Chief Magistrate Daniel Thulare took the opportunity to express his concern about the way the media have been covering the case. He believes there is a "trial by media" under way which may "scandalise the court processes and the administration of justice". Thulare called on the international press contingent to respect South Africa's judicial process, a reference perhaps to graphic pictures of the bathroom where Steenkamp was killed which were leaked to Sky News and broadcast two days ago. Thulare said the national prosecuting authority should look seriously at whether anyone has acted in such a way as to scandalise the court.
How did Pistorius look? The 26-year-old Paralympian looked very calm as he arrived at court wearing a grey suit, blue shirt and dark blue shirt with white squares. He stood stiffly in court and his face was a "mask of concentration and neutrality" as he listened to the magistrate, says the BBC's Andrew Harding. The sprinter spoke only once, saying "Yes, your honour" when asked by Thulare if he understood that he would be arrested if he failed to reappear in court on 19 August.
How is Pistorius coping? Badly, according to the uncle with whom he has been living for the past three months. Arnold Pistorius told CNN the sprinter had grown a beard (he was clean-shaven at today's hearing) because he doesn't want to be recognised and has surrounded himself with photographs of Steenkamp. "What can you say if the person you love the most dies, and you were the instrument?" Arnold Pistorius said. "How would you feel? It's unthinkable."
Were Steenkamp's family there? The court was packed with about 90 journalists and members of the Pistorius clan including his brother Carl and sister Aimee. Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry, did not appear to be at court. They told Sky News they were desperate for answers about why their daughter was killed and were reportedly horrified by the publication of the crime-scene photographs.
What happens next? Pistorius remains free on bail of 1 million rand and the same terms he was granted on 22 February. He is required to report to Brooklyn police station twice a week and forbidden to communicate with potential witnesses. He will return to court for another pre-trial hearing on 19 August, but the case is unlikely to come to a full trial until early next year.
OSCAR PISTORIUS has held a memorial service for his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot dead at his home on Valentine's Day. But questions are being asked as to how and why news of the "private" ceremony ended up being leaked to the media.
The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter held the ceremony at his uncle's house near Pretoria, where he is living after being granted bail as he awaits trial for the premeditated murder of the model.
He was reportedly joined by around 20 friends and family who said prayers for the dead woman. Details of the service emerged after they were "leaked" to a local radio station.
That prompted the public relations agency representing Pistorius to issue a press release. "Oscar specifically requested the memorial service as he continues to grieve and remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner, Reeva," it read. "Since it is such a sensitive issue, Oscar has asked for a private service with people who share his loss, including his family members who knew and loved Reeva as one of their own."
Security guards were posted outside the house where Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner because of his prosthetic legs, is now staying to keep journalists away, reported The Guardian. And it quoted a friend of Steenkamp who was clearly sceptical about the sprinter's motives. Shasi Naidoo told the paper: "If you wanted to keep a memorial service private, you would not put out a press release. I think this is a sad attempt to alter public perception."
The Sun noted: "Pistorius was accused on social network sites of staging a bizarre publicity stunt."
American website Sports Grid described it as a "gutless, toothless" attempt to score "sympathy points" and wondered what the dead woman's family would make of her killer's actions.
Steenkamp's official memorial was held last week in her home town of Port Elizabeth, while Pistorius was in court in Pretoria attending his four-day bail hearing.
Meanwhile, US tabloid magazine National Inquirer, known for its outlandish reporting, has claimed that Steenkamp was pregnant when she was killed. However, the reports have not been verified in South Africa and the results of her post mortem have not been made public, says the Daily Mail.
In yet another twist, the magistrate in the case, Desmond Nair, has confirmed that he is related to a woman who is suspected of killing her two children and committing suicide last weekend. The news comes after lead investigator Hilton Botha was removed from the case when it was revealed he was accused of attempted murder, and Pistorius's brother, Carl, was charged with unlawful killing over a fatal road accident.
Oscar Pistorius granted bail after epic two-hour ruling
OSCAR PISTORIUS today walked out of a South African court after being granted bail as he awaits trial on a charge that he murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The Paralympic athlete who shot dead the model at his home in Pretoria last week was freed on bail of R1m (£75,000) after a dramatic four-day hearing in which both sides laid out their cases.
However, magistrate Desmond Nair said he was not convinced that investigators had established the murder was premeditated, the Daily Mail reports, and was therefore able to grant bail.
Pistorius must surrender his passport and guns and report to police twice a week. He must not return to the house where the shooting took place or talk to witnesses in the case, and he has been banned from drinking alcohol. His next appearance in court will be in early June.
After the bail hearing itself - which was expected to last just two days - overran there was more exasperation at the length of magistrate Nair's ruling this afternoon. He took almost two hours to reveal that he was allowing the application.
Pistorius sobbed as it became apparent that he would be granted bail, and the family hugged after the ruling was delivered.
Pistorius's brother Carl said the family was "relieved", but he added that it would be "a long road ahead".
The athlete's uncle, Arnold Pistorius, released a statement on behalf of the family: "Although we are obviously relieved that Oscar has been granted bail, this is still a very sad time for the family of Reeva and for us. We are grateful that the magistrate recognised the validity and strength of our application. As the family, we are convinced that Oscar's version of what happened on that terrible night will prove to be true."
The decision came after "three-and-a-half days of dramatic testimony and argument," said the Mail & Guardian newspaper. It added that the sprinter – nicknamed the Blade Runner for his high-tech prosthetic legs - "would focus on the upcoming trial, but may well resume training, even though he is not expected to compete for some time".
Also in court for the ruling was Vineshkumar Moonoo, the most senior detective in the South African police. He has taken over the prosecution case after it emerged that Hilton Botha, who had given evidence against Pistorius during the hearing, was himself facing several charges of attempted murder.
Botha was removed from the case by national police commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega after it was revealed that he and two other officers were to face trial for shooting at a minicab taxi in 2011 when they were apparently drunk.
Botha also performed badly under cross-examination from Pistorius's defence team and was singled out for criticism in Nair's ruling. The magistrate said Botha was guilty of "errors" and had "blundered" over a claim that he found testosterone in Pistorius’s home.
Journalist Daniel Howden tweeted that Botha had been subjected to a "remarkable trashing" by the magistrate. "Will Warrant Officer Botha ever be given another major case to investigate?" asked the Daily Telegraph.
Oscar Pistorius: defence on top as magistrate hints at bail
OSCAR PISTORIUS will find out on Thursday whether he is to be granted bail over the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp when the hearing enters a third day.
The sprinter's defence team appeared to gain the upper hand during a gripping second day of evidence, and BBC correspondent Andrew Harding tweeted that he overheard a member of the prosecution whisper "we're in terrible trouble".
During the afternoon session the prosecution even suffered the indignity of being laughed at in court and the magistrate appeared to drop a hint about which way the hearing was going.
Desmond Nair intervened during questioning to ask police officer Hilton Botha if he thought Pistorius would skip bail. "The accused before court is an international athlete, paralympic athlete, he uses prosthesis on both legs. I'm sure we would both agree that his face is widely recognised internationally. Do you subjectively believe that he would take the opportunity, being who he is, using prosthetics to get around, to flee South Africa?" he asked.
When Botha replied "yes" there was laughter.
Nair then asked. "Do you think it's possible that a person who has won Olympic golds would want to forsake his career when he has a chance to prove his innocence in a court of law?" Botha's reply was to insist that the threat of jail was "no joke".
During the morning session, defence lawyer Barry Roux unpicked much of the prosecution case and even lured Botha into admitting that a witness who heard screams before the shooting lived 600m away . However, Botha later withdrew that answer and insisted that she lived just 300m from the scene of the shooting.
Alex Thompson of Channel 4 News likened the defence's counterattack to the "infamous rope-a-dope boxing strategy". The prosecution case had been "shouted from the streets and the rooftops by the media" he said, but now the defence was fighting back.
And sympathy appears to be growing for the Blade Runner. Andrew Harding of the BBC spent the day sitting just inches away from Pistorius. "He is a man in deep trauma and it is hard, regardless of what he did or did not do, not to feel and respond to his anguish," he said.
Pistorius: witness who heard shouting 'lived 600m away'
NON-STOP shouting was heard coming from Oscar Pistorius's house on the night his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in the athlete's bathroom, a court heard today.
Prosecutors laying out their case against Pistorius on the second day of his bail hearing in Pretoria said they have a female witness who heard the shouting "between 2am and 3am", Sky News reports.
But under cross-examination the police officer leading the investigation said the witness's house is 600 metres from Pistorius's home, a revelation that caused gasps from the sprinter's relatives in the court room.
The court also heard that injecting needles and a substance similar to testosterone had been found by police at the Paralympian's home. But Pistorius's defence lawyer Barry Roux said the drug was a "herbal remedy used by many athletes". Roux added: "It's not a steroid and it's not a banned substance."
The Guardian described today's hearing as a "morning of furious claim and counter-claim" by prosecutors and defence lawyers.
In an affidavit read out in court yesterday Pistorius said he was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time of the shooting and felt "vulnerable" when he heard what he thought was an intruder in his bathroom. The police officer leading the investigation, Hilton Botha, cast doubt on that claim today. He told the court the trajectory of the shots fired into the bathroom where Steenkamp was killed was downward, suggesting the double-amputee was firing from a standing position.
Botha also told the court:
- The two iPhones and two BlackBerrys found at the scene had not been used to call the police or paramedics.
- Pistorius was a flight risk because investigators have found he has a house in Italy and "offshore accounts".
- Pistorius faces new charges of possessing unlicensed ammunition after police found .38 rounds in a bedroom safe.
But during his cross-examination of Botha, Roux accused the police officer of "putting the worst possible interpretation on the evidence", The Guardian reports. In a sometimes abrasive encounter, Roux got Botha to admit:
- He couldn't find anything at the crime scene inconsistent with Pistorius's claim that he shot Steenkamp by accident.
- He had not actually checked Pistorius's phone to see if the athlete had called a hospital after the shooting.
- He didn't read "the whole name" on the drugs found at Pistorius's house before he claimed that testosterone had been found (the substance was in fact testoconpasupium).
The hearing continues.
OSCAR PISTORIUS says he had "no intention" of killing his "beloved" girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and is "absolutely mortified" by her death. But a magistrate ruled today that the Paralympic athelete should face a charge of premeditated murder over the model's killing.
The magistrate decided that, for the purpose of considering bail, the case against Pistorius would be considered a 'schedule six' offence - or premeditated murder. This means it will be difficult for the 26-year-old athlete to get bail, Sky News reports.
In a sworn statement read by his defence lawyer at today's hearing, Pistorius said he had been woken in the middle of the night by the sound of what he thought was an intruder.
Feeling "extremely vulnerable" in the "pitch-dark" bedroom and thinking Steenkamp was still in bed with him, he fired his pistol at the bathroom door. When he realised Steenkamp was not in the bed, "it filled me with horror and fear", Pistorius said in his statement. He broke down the door to reach her and "she died in my arms".
The athlete's defence team argued that Steenkamp's killing was "not even murder" and Pistorius should be given bail because he is not a danger to society or himself and is not going to abscond.
But prosecutor Gerrie Nel offered a very different version of events today, telling the Pretoria court the Paralympian had got out of bed at his home on the night Steenkamp was killed, put on his prosthetic legs, "walked seven metres" and fired his gun through the bathroom door.
Nel said Pistorius fired four shots and hit Steenkamp three times. Then he broke down the bathroom door and carried the victim downstairs. The 30-year-old model had fled to the small bathroom and locked herself in because she was scared after an argument.
Nel told the court the defence had "a number of questions to answer". They included:
- Why didn't Pistorius search for his girlfriend if he thought there was a burglar in the house?
- Why did Steenkamp lock herself in the toilet - was she afraid of being shot or killed?
- Why did Pistorius put on his prosthetic limbs and walk seven metres to the bathroom?
"If I arm myself, walk a distance and murder a person, that is premeditated," said Nel. "The door is closed. There is no doubt. I walk seven metres and I kill. The motive is 'I want to kill.' That's it."
Pistorius's face was reported to be "creased in pain" and he was "weeping" as he was formally charged with murder.
Steenkamp's private funeral took place today in her home town of Port Elizabeth.
Oscar Pistorius: bloody cricket bat 'central' to murder case
THE DISCOVERY of a bloodied cricket bat at the home of sprinter Oscar Pistorius has added to the mystery surrounding the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead in his house on Valentine's Day.
The South African press have quoted police saying that as well as being shot in the hand, hip, arm and head, Steenkamp also suffered a fractured skull. The discovery of the bloodstained bat, which Pistorius kept in his bedroom, is now said to be "central" to the prosecution's case.
"If the blood [on the bat] is that of Miss Steenkamp, it would strengthen the prosecution case for premeditated murder," says the Daily Telegraph. "If it came from Pistorius, police would argue that the model used it to defend herself."
The South African paper City Press says police have "ruled out" the possibility that Pistorius mistook his girlfriend for an intruder. It says the authorities have a "rock-solid" case against the iconic 'Blade Runner', who last year became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics as well as the Paralympics.
The paper claims to have pieced together the events of Thursday morning and argues that Pistorius may have "chased" Steenkamp through the house during the attack.
"The suspicion is that the first shot, in the bedroom, hit her in the hip," a police source told the paper. "She then ran and locked herself in the toilet. She was doubled over because of the pain. He fired three more shots. She probably covered her head, which is why the bullet also went through her hand."
Afterwards it is claimed Pistorius made a series of hysterical phone calls to friends and relatives. When the athlete's family arrived, he was carrying Steenkamp down the stairs, where he tried unsuccessfully to revive her through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Pistorius has cancelled all future races in order to concentrate on clearing his name. The Times says the decision reinforces "the possibility that he will never run competitively again". ·