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Neighbour 'Bolsters' Oscar Pistorious Defence
Oscar Pistorius was hugged by supporters, including a young disabled woman, as he arrived back in court in Pretoria to continue his murder trial after a two-week recess.
The young woman burst into tears as the runner responded to her show of support and affection.
Courtroom GD in Pretoria's North Gauteng High Court was not as busy as it has been in the previous six weeks: there is an election in South Africa this week.
But the next fortnight is expected to be crucial in trying to reverse what has been largely viewed as a far from perfect start to the defence case.
The athlete's case appeared to be immediately bolstered by the evidence from one of his neighbours who was also the estate manager.
Johan Stander was the first person the runner called - and was also the first person on the scene alongside his daughter Carice Viljoen.
Mr Stander said he was "100%" sure of the words used by the athlete when he first rang him. "He said, please please please come and help. I shot Reeva (Steenkamp). I thought she was an intruder".
Mr Stander also spoke about how he used to brief the runner on security incidents on the estate.
He said intruders had broken through the estate fence and managed to enter a woman's house and tie her up.
In another case, intruders had climbed into a house using a ladder - one of the runner's fears - and one of his explanations about why he thought there was an intruder in his own toilet.
Mr Stander was then followed by his daughter Carice Viljoen. (She has since got married).
She spoke about waking up in the early hours of Valentine's Day morning and worrying about closing her balcony doors (which she'd left open).
She said she then heard a man shouting for help - three times. "I was terrified and didn't know what to do," she said.
She then heard a commotion in her parents' bedroom and went through to find out from her mother that Mr Pistorius had just telephoned to say he had shot his girlfriend.
Father and daughter then raced round to the athlete's house and were the first on the scene.
They both described seeing the athlete carrying the body of his dying girlfriend down the stairs. "He was broken," said Mr Stander of the runner "Crying, praying, torn apart."
Mrs Viljoen broke down in tears as she described how she and the sportsman frantically tried to revive his girlfriend. "There was blood everywhere," she said.
She ran upstairs to fetch towels to staunch the bleeding and her voice quivered as she said the runner "begged" her to save his girlfriend.
Crucially her father testified another neighbour, who has already given evidence, had given him a different version of what he heard on that morning.
Dr Johan Stipp told the estate manager he had heard shots, silence, screaming then more shots. In his earlier testimony Dr Stipp had said he had heard shots, then the sound of a cricket bat hitting the door.
There was much surprise amongst legal analysts and trial-watchers that the defence team had not called Tom Wolmarans, a ballistics expert for more than 30 years.
He was expected to give critical evidence to try to counter the state's case that Ms Steenkamp had been standing up, remonstrating with the athlete during a row when he shot and killed her.
The runner left the court and was once again accosted by a supporter who shook his hand and told him he "loved" him.
The paralympian's legal team says it hopes to wrap up its case within two weeks during which time it has to convince the judge that the athlete did not intend to kill Ms Steenkamp and the shooting was a tragic accident.