Oscar Pistorius murder trial: ‘My legs were off, she was doing yoga’
OSCAR Pistorius murder trial: The media round-up. The runner is on premeditated murder charge on the day the lover he killed, Rever Steenkamp, is cremated. He stands is before Chief magistrate Desmond Nair.
Magistrate orders cameras off as #pistorius enters the dock. They fire away anyway. Is english the barrier? He asks
Guardian’s David Smith:
There’s a real electricity in the air, more than 100 people crammed into a red-brick courtroom. There are lawyers with big files and sheets of paper and briefcases, lots of court officials sitting around, police wearing flak jackets, and dozens of journalists, TV cameras and photographers. It was a massive media scrum to try to get in here.
Court officials now asking over 100 journalists to decide among themselves who gets into #OscarPistorius hearing, tweets
How did he look?
The athlete looking v contemplative, sitting and staring at his hands. Seems calm
The Pistorius Statement
He said they went to bed and fell asleep. He woke to close a sliding door and get a fan and went out on to the balcony, he said.
At that point he heard a noise in the bathroom and felt a “sense of terror” rush through him. He was scared and didn’t switch on the light, he said.
He was acutely aware of violent crime and had received death threats in the past, and had been a victim of crime in the past, he said. For that reason he kept a 9mm pistol under the bed.
He said he got his gun and moved towards the bathroom, and screamed at the “intruder” to get out of the house and for Steenkamp to call the police. He thought she was still in bed.
He did not have his prosthetic legs on, and said he felt vulnerable for both himself and Steenkamp. For that reason, he said, he fired through the bathroom door.
He then saw that Steenkamp was not in bed, he said. That was when he realised she could have been in the bathroom, he said. The bathroom door was locked.
He said he went to the balcony and called for help, and then put his legs on.
He said he opened the toilet door by smashing it with a cricket bat. Steenkamp was alive inside, slumped over, he said. He took her to the bathroom, called paramedics and tried to carry her downstairs to get help, he said.
He tried to revive her but she died in his arms, he said.
The words of Pistorius’ advocate Barry Roux:
“Reeva would have gone out with her friends, me with mine. She wanted to stay at home. I was watching TV. My legs were off. She was doing yoga. At the end of the evening we got into bed.”
“I’m acutely aware of people gaining entries to homes to commit crime, I’ve received death threats. I sleep with my 9mm under my bed. I woke up to close the sliding door and heard a noise in the bathroom.”
Pistorius, a double amputee who runs on carbon fibre blades, said he had mobility on stumps, and could walk on them.
I was scared and didn’t switch on the light. I got my gun and moved towards the bathroom. I screamed at the intruder.”
Because I did not have my legs on I felt vulnerable. I fired shots through the bathroom door and told Reeva to call police. I walked back to the bed and realised Reeva was not in bed. It then it dawned on me it could be her in there.”
He said he tried to open the bathroom door, but it was locked, and went to the balcony to scream for help. He put “on” his legs, and broke the door open with a cricket bat, got a key and opened it.
I … called paramedics and complex security, I tried to carry her downstairs for help. I tried to help her but she died in my arms. After the shooting I did not flee the scene. I remained until the police arrived.”
What Pistorius said
“There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps…
He “screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.”
“I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.”
“When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.”
“A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door. Reeva was slumped over but alive.”
“Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.”
Gerrie Nel, prosecuting
“The applicant shot and killed an innocent and unarmed woman… with a measure of premeditation… She locked that door for a purpose. The only reasonable explanation is that the accused armed himself, walked seven metres to the bathroom and shot the deceased when she was in the toilet…She couldn’t go anywhere. You can run nowhere…We say, when he said he thought it was a burglar, that was all part of the plan. When would a burglar lock himself in the bathroom… [it was not] like waking up and finding a robber standing over you.”
More to follow…