Witness tells of 'non-stop shouting' before shooting
Oscar Pistorius in court today on the second day of his bail hearing.
"Non-stop shouting" was heard coming from the home of Oscar Pistorius before his girlfriend was shot dead, his bail hearing was told today.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the prosecution team has a witness who heard the shouting between 2am and 3am.
The details were revealed as the second day of the 26-year-old athlete’s bail hearing began at Pretoria Magistrates’ Court in South Africa.
In an affidavit, Paralympic star Pistorius has denied murdering the model Reeva Steenkamp (29) at his home in the early hours of Thursday. He says he shot her by accident after believing an intruder had climbed through his bathroom window and entered the toilet.
Ms Steenkamp was hit three times as she was in the locked toilet adjoining Pistorius' bathroom and today the court heard the bullets hit her arm, hip and head.
Pistorius has said he shot her with a 9mm pistol. An unlicensed .38 handgun was found at the property in the exclusive Silver Lakes Golf Estate. Investigating officer Hilton Botha said he wanted the athlete charged additionally with possession of an illegal weapon and ammunition.
Police also found two containers of testosterone and needles in Pistorius's bedroom.
The court heard two mobile phones were seized at the property and neither had been used to call the police or paramedics.
Pistorius has said he had been a victim of crime and received death threats, but today the court heard there were no records of this.
The athlete - who was sobbing this morning in court - made notes with a silver pen as the case progressed.
It was claimed the track star was involved in another shooting at a restaurant in Johannesburg in January and asked the gun owner to take responsibility for the incident.
Mr Botha also told the court of an incident at Kyalami racetrack where Pistorius allegedly threatened to “f*** up” a man during a row over a girl.
Pistorius, who underwent below-the-knee amputations when he was 11 months old, has said he was too frightened to turn the bedroom lights on. But today Mr Botha said the prosecution have a witness who says the lights were on after hearing gunshots. It was reported that a female’s screams were heard then more gunshots.
Lawyers and police studied plans of the bedroom and bathroom as the bail hearing proceeded. A projector was used to beam the plans up for the public and press to see.
Mr Botha said there was “no way” he believed Pistorius’s version of events.
The runner has said he shot through the door while on his stumps but the court heard the bullets’ trajectory was through the top of the door. Mr Botha said he believed the bullets were fired downwards, suggesting that Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs when the shots were discharged.
Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux said it was not testosterone but a herbal remedy discovered in his client’s bedroom.
Cross-examining the policeman, Mr Roux said a post-mortem examination showed Ms Steenkamp’s bladder was empty. He said that was consistent with her getting up at 3am to go to the toilet.
Mr Roux asked repeatedly why the police did not make simple checks - over the lighting and whether Pistorius had other phones.
The lawyer said Pistorius phoned the housing complex manager for help at 3.19am then Netcare hospital a minute later.
Mr Roux said the police discarded anything that might have been consistent with a defence.
Pistorius arrived at the court in Pretoria today in a police car with a blue blanket covering his head.
Today’s proceedings were delayed as more than 100 journalists squeezed into court to report the hearing. There were chaotic scenes as one reporter fainted, an overflow room was set up to provide more space and courtroom screens had technical problems.
Mr Botha said he arrived at Pistorius’s house at 4.15am when the victim was already dead.
She was wearing white shorts, a black top and was covered in towels, the court was told.
Mr Botha said he believed Pistorius, who won two gold medals and a silver at London’s 2012 Paralympic Games, was a flight risk and he was opposing bail.
He also told court Pistorius has offshore accounts and a property in Italy.
The hearing has been adjourned to tomorrow morning when a decision over bail might be made.