sport

Pistorius concludes evidence

Oscar Pistorius has concluded a gruelling five-day stint in the witness box giving evidence in his trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The South African Paralympic athlete denies a charge of deliberately shooting the 27-year-old law graduate and former model through a bathroom door on February 14, 2013, claiming he mistakenly believed her to be an intruder.

As the court in Pretoria was adjourned until 08.30BST on Wednesday morning, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel closed his cross-examination of Pistorius by saying: "You are overcome by what you've done, that is true, but only because you intended to kill her."

Nel said: "You fired four shots through the door whilst knowing that she was standing behind the door. She was locked into the bathroom and you armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her."

Pistorius, who is facing life in prison if convicted of murder, replied with "that is not true" before Nel, nicknamed The Pitbull for his intimidating style of questioning, said: "I have nothing further to ask this witness."

Pistorius will return to the dock on Wednesday where he will listen to witnesses called by his defence team. On Tuesday, the defence asked Pistorious to read from a Valentine's Day card intended for him from Steenkamp that he had not opened on the day of the incident.

An emotional Pistorius read "roses are red, violets are blue" from the front of the card before reciting the message inside, hand-written by Steenkamp, which said: "I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you."

Judge Thokozile Masipa remained unmoved by the emotions of Pistorius, who maintains he had pulled the trigger without thinking out of fear that his and Steenkamp's lives were in danger from an intruder.

The athlete's voice quivered as he recounted how he was "overcome with terror and despair" on finding her bloodied body slumped against the toilet after he broke down the door with a cricket bat.

The trial continues.