Oscar Pistorius today told a court he was “deeply in love” with his girlfriend and denied murdering her. In court today he described more of what happened on that fateful night when he shot Reeva Steenkamp dead.
The Paralympian gave his version of events, saying he had shot Reeva because he thought she was an intruder. His opening testimony may raise a few questions among those of us reading it.
Pistorius repeatedly broke down in tears at the hearing at which he applied for bail. This application was denied, due to the seriousness of the charges. His hands shook and he appeared inconsolable, sobbing into a tissue throughout his court appearance.
Prosecution lawyers had earlier accused Pistorius of the pre-meditated murder of his girlfriend. He denies this charge.
In a statement read out by his lawyer, Pistorius said he had been at home with Reeva during the evening, with her doing yoga and him watching television. The two later went to bed together, he said. So that discounts one early theory that he may not have even known she had arrived at his home when he shot her in the bathroom, through the door.
Oscar’s version of events is that he awoke and went to get a fan from the balcony. Then he said he had felt a “sense of terror” when he heard a noise inside the bathroom.
Pistorius, who kept a 9mm pistol next to his bed, said he felt vulnerable because he was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time. He claimed he fired his gun into the bathroom, but then realized Ms Steenkamp was not in his bed.
“It filled me with horror and fear,” Pistorius said.
He went on to say that when he realized he may have shot Reeva, he put on his prosthetic legs, walked towards the bathroom and broke down the locked door with a cricket bat.
He said he ran downstairs carrying his 29-year-old girlfriend, but “she died in my arms”.
Pistorius seems incredulous at the charges brought against him, countering,
“I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I did not plan to murder my girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.”
The hearing was adjourned for the day, and Pistorius remained in custody.