UK & World News

  • 19 February 2013, 14:20

Oscar Pistorius: Clashing Accounts Of Shooting

Two very different versions of what happened in the moments before Reeva Steenkamp's death have been heard at a bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius.

The athlete has been charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine's Day. He denies murder.

Below are the key arguments from the prosecution, along with Pistorius' account of events as read from his statement in court.

::The Prosecution

Pistorius fired his gun four times into the door of a bathroom, knowing that Ms Steenkamp was inside after an argument.

She had locked herself in the room after fleeing down a seven-metre passage from the bedroom following the row at Pistorius' luxury home in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius followed her with his 9mm pistol, first putting on his prosthetic legs.

He shot his gun four times through the door, killing an "unarmed and defenceless" woman. The door was then broken open from the outside.

There was "no possible explanation" to support Pistorius' claim of mistaken identity - that he believed the person inside the bathroom was a burglar.

If that were the case, prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued, why wasn't Pistorius' first thought to the whereabouts of his girlfriend?

Mr Nel argued there was a motive for the killing.

:: The Defence

Pistorius had "no intention" of killing his "beloved" Ms Steenkamp and he is "absolutely mortified" by her death.

In the early hours he heard a noise and thought an intruder had come through a bathroom window and was hiding there. He felt vulnerable and shouted for the intruder to get out and for Ms Steenkamp to call police.

It was dark and Pistorius thought Ms Steenkamp was lying on her bed, not that she was in the bathroom. He wanted to protect her.

Pistorius hobbled to the bathroom on his stumps and fired his gun, a 9mm pistol he kept under his bed because he had received death threats.

After the shooting, he returned to his bed and saw that Ms Steenkamp was not there.

He shouted for help, broke open a door with a cricket bat and found her still alive. He carried her downstairs.

He had got up to fetch a fan from the balcony when he heard the noise in the toilet earlier, which is why he did not notice Ms Steenkamp was not on the bed.

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