Pistorius 'deeply in love with girlfriend'
Superstar Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has told a court in South Africa he was "deeply in love" with his girlfriend and "did not intend to kill" her.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
The 26-year-old Paralympian, nicknamed Blade Runner, hit headlines across the world on Thursday when he was arrested in connection with the killing of his model partner Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.
Pistorius was subsequently charged with her murder and he appeared at Pretoria Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning to seek bail.
During the hearing, it was revealed Steenkamp had locked herself in the bathroom at Pistorius' home in the early hours of the morning and was allegedly shot three times through the closed door.
The prosecutors argued the killing was "pre-planned" and accused the sportsman of "premeditated murder", alleging Pistorius "got up, put on his prosthesis and walked seven metres to fire (a) gun", prompting the star to break down in tears and sob openly in the court room.
The star's defence lawyer, Barry Roux, argued his client mistook Steenkamp for a burglar and insisted he didn't know it was his girlfriend behind the bathroom door when he took aim, saying: "He shot her through the door - I'll show examples where father(s) shot children through doors thinking (they were) (burglars)... All we know is that she locked the bathroom door and he shot, thinking she was a burglar."
The attorney alleged Pistorius only broke down the bathroom door to help Steenkamp "not harm her", while he also revealed there "may have been argument earlier" between the couple, but insisted it did not prove premeditation.
An affidavit from the sports star was read out in court as the defence lawyer argued in favour of bail, and Pistorius insisted he did not mean to kill his lover: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I did not intend to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp... Nothing can be further from the truth that I planned the murder of my girlfriend..."
He also revealed the couple spent the evening together before the killing and Steenkamp had even bought him a Valentine's Day present, insisting they were very much in love, adding: "We agreed to spend (the) evening at home. By 10pm we were in bedroom, she was doing yoga, I was watching TV with (my) prosthetic legs off. We were deeply in love... She felt the same way. Reeva had bought me a present for Valentine's Day..."
The hearing took place at the same time as Steenkamp's funeral in the city of Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. Friends and family gathered to mourn the model at a service prior to a cremation.