/ 20 February 2013

Pistorius whimpers while lawyers relay his side of the story

Pistorius Whimpers While Lawyers Relay His Side Of The Story

"When you don't have your prosthesis on you are more vulnerable," advocate Barry Roux told the court on Wednesday in an application for bail by the double amputee.

An Olympian and Paralympian medallist and finalist at last year's Olympic Games, Pistorius is charged with murdering Steenkamp.

He has denied the charge and said in an affidavit that he thought there was an intruder in the house when he fired the shots that killed Steenkamp in the bathroom of his Pretoria home.

After testimony in which police investigating officer Hilton Botha said he believed Pistorius knew he was shooting Steenkamp, Roux worked on reeling the court back to Pistorius's version of events.

Roux asked Botha whether Steenkamp would have locked herself in the bathroom, away from danger, had she heard Pistorius scream while she was in the bathroom.

"That is true," said Botha.

On Tuesday, in his affidavit, Pistorius said he heard a noise in the bathroom, fetched his firearm and called out to Steenkamp to call the police.

He then fired shots through the bathroom door, before realising Steenkamp was inside. He carried her downstairs, where she died.

Roux argued it was more consistent that Pistorius was in the corridor between the bathroom and the bedroom when he fired one of the four shots.

Botha agreed, as one of the cartridges was found in that area.

The court heard that Steenkamp's body did not show any defensive wounds.

Roux told Botha that the post mortem had found that Steenkamp's bladder was empty and said this was consistent with someone going to the toilet to relieve themselves.

Pistorius broke down again when this was discussed.

Earlier, Botha told the court a holster and female slippers were found on the left-hand side of the bed.

Roux said testosterone found at Pistorius' home was herbal and not banned.

"It is a herbal remedy," he said. "It is not a steroid and it's not a banned substance." He said the police should get it tested by a pharmacist as soon as possible.

Botha had testified that investigators found injection needles in a box under a television set.

He had phoned Netcare
Roux asked Botha if the police had checked with Netcare whether Pistorius had called them, as he said in his affidavit.

"No, we didn't," said Botha. The court heard earlier that four cellphones were found at Pistorius' home – two Blackberrys and two iPhones.

He had phoned Netcare using a fifth cellphone.

Botha indicated that the state would call witnesses who would testify about a woman screaming, gunshots and the sounds of fighting.

The state is opposing Pistorius's application for bail. – Sapa