UK & World News

  • 4 March 2014, 6:11

Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial Enters Second Day

The second day of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial is due to get under way - after a neighbour told the court she was woken by "terrible screams" on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

Michell Burger, the first witness in the case, told a packed courtroom in South Africa's administrative capital Pretoria on Monday she heard "blood-curdling screams" and four gunshots.

Pistorius' advocate Barry Roux tried to cast doubt on her account, suggesting she had actually heard the sound of the athlete breaking down the door of the bathroom - where his girlfriend's body was found - with a cricket bat after the shooting.

Members of the Paralympicathlete's defence team used their opening statement to allege the crime scene had been "contaminated and tampered with", a suggestion state prosecutor Gerrie Nel denied.

The double-amputee is accused of the premeditated murder of Ms Steenkamp last Valentine's Day after a jealous row, illegal possession of ammunition and two additional counts relating to shooting a gun in public in two separate incidents before the killing.

The 27-year-old, who is known as the Blade Runner, denies all the charges against him.

He claims he shot his girlfriend by mistake at his home after mistaking her for an intruder.

Ms Steenkamp's mother June was in court for the first day of the trial after saying she wanted to look Pistorius in the eyes.

The trial, large parts of which can be broadcast live after a landmark ruling, is scheduled to last for three weeks and will hear from more than 100 witnesses.

If Pistorius is found guilty he could be jailed for at least 25 years.

:: Sky News' live coverage of the trial is under way, and a special highlights programme will be broadcast every weekday at 9.30pm.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

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