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Sun Dec 21 22:48:44 SAST 2014

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial Day 14

TimesLIVE, Tymon Smith, Graeme Hosken and Sapa | 24 March, 2014 09:26

Get all the news from the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on Day 14 in one place.

TRANSCRIPT OF ROWS READ IN PISTORIUS TRIAL - Sapa

A few weeks before Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp, she sent him a message saying she was scared of his temper, a witness testified on Monday as the paralympic athlete's murder trial entered its fourth week.

Police cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller read out transcripts of angry exchanges between the couple on WhatsApp, downloaded from her mobile phone.

In more than one the model complained that Pistorius was short-tempered and overly critical of her.

"You have picked on me excessively... I do everything to make you happy and you do everything to throw tantrums... " began a message Steenkamp sent on January 27.

"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me. You make me happy ninety percent of the time and I think we are amazing together... but I am not some other bitch... trying to kill your vibe...

"I'm the girl who fell in love with you ... but I'm also the girl who gets side-stepped when you are in a shit mood... I get snapped at and told my accent and voices are annoying."

It was part of a lengthy text she sent him on January 27, expressing unhappiness with his behaviour at an engagement party for one of her friends.

She said Pistorius had criticised her for the way she spoke and for chewing gum, had snapped at her when she stroked his neck and forced her to leave early though she was having fun.

"...You fucked up a special day for me... I just want to love and be loved. Maybe we can't do that for each other. Right now, I know you can't be happy and I'm certainly very unhappy and sad," she added.

In his response, the athlete apologised but complained that she had ignored him and spoken to another man.

As the private messages were read out in the High Court in Pretoria in Moller's strong Afrikaans accent, Pistorius cried softly in the dock.

Moller said on February 8, Steenkamp again complained about tension between the couple that arose when they attended a public function.

"I can't be attacked by outsiders for dating you, and attacked by you," she concluded.

In an earlier message, sent on January 19, 2013, Pistorius wrote to Steenkamp: "When you got back from Tropica, you made it sound like you only smoked weed once."

Steenkamp, a law graduate who became a glamour model, had been away filming a reality TV series called "Tropica Island of Treasure".

Moller testified that he had retrieved nearly 2000 messages the couple exchanged while they were dating, and stressed that about 90 percent of these were simply "normal conversation" and many were "loving".

He was due back on the stand on Tuesday for further questioning from State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who contends that Pistorius shot Steenkamp after the couple had a row.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and claimed that he mistakenly believed he was targeting an intruder when he fired four shots through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria townhouse, fatally wounding Steenkamp.

In his plea statement, he denied that they had argued.

Earlier on Monday, a neighbour whose house looks onto that of Pistorius in a plush Pretoria estate, testified that she and her husband had heard three shots, followed by a woman's terrified screams around 3am on February 14 last year when Steenkamp was killed.

"Moments after the shots I heard a lady screaming... terrified, terrified screaming," said Annette Stipp, whose husband later went to Pistorius's home and found him crying next to a dying Steenkamp.

The couple also heard a man scream, Stipp said, and then another volley of three shots.

"I also heard a man screaming ... After the second set of shots it just became quiet. There was no more screaming either male or female," she said.

As the trial proceeds, it appears pivotal to the State's case to prove that Steenkamp had time to scream as Pistorius fired shots into the locked toilet cubicle.

Nel has been leading detailed evidence suggesting that it is conceivable that he heard his girlfriend cry out but continued to shoot.

Last week the State called a ballistics expert who said tests showed that the first bullet hit Steenkamp in her hip, and the second missed. Two further shots found her slumped in a defensive position, and struck her in the arm and head.

In earlier testimony, the pathologist who performed the post mortem on Steenkamp, told the court that it would have been "unnatural" for her not to scream after a bullet shattered her hip.

Kenny Oldwadge, for Pistorius, tirelessly tried to fault Stipp on several counts in cross-examination.

He notably challenged her contention that the light was on in the toilet in Pistorius's house, saying her husband had a different recollection and Pistorius had submitted that at the time of the shooting it was out of order.

Pistorius's defence team are arguing that he sounds like a woman when he screams anxiously and that neighbours could only have heard his voice because Steenkamp was too severely injured to make a sound.

The trial is set to continue until May 16.

PISTORIUS TRIAL HEARS WHATSAPP MESSAGES - Sapa

The High Court in Pretoria was read a WhatsApp message from Reeva Steenkamp to her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, saying she was scared of him sometimes -- less than a month before he shot her dead in his home in Pretoria.

In one of the 1,709 messages Captain Francois Moller extracted from the couple's phones, Moller read a message from Steenkamp sent on January 27 2013.

"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me. You make me happy ninety percent of the time and I think we are amazing together... but I am not some other bitch... trying to kill your vibe...

"I'm the girl who fell in love with you but I'm also the girl who gets side-stepped when you are in a shit mood... I get snapped at and told my accent and voices are annoying," wrote Steenkamp in a cellphone message, while Pistorius cried in the dock.

The message began: "You have picked on me excessively... I do everything to make you happy and you do everything to throw tantrums... "

In the message from Steenkamp, sent at 4.17pm, she wrote that it was the engagement that day of one of her best friends.

She said he had "picked on her incessantly" since he got back "from CT".

"I understand you are sick but it is nasty," wrote Steenkamp.

She continued: "I was not flirting with anyone today. I feel sick that you should suggest it..."

He "made a scene at the table" which made them leave early.

They were "living in a double standard relationship" where "you can be mad".

She went on to say that Pistorius could talk to her about how "you have dated another chick" but he got upset about stories about a long term boyfriend.

"You do everything to throw tantrums in front of other people. I am so upset."

She said he made her happy "90 percent of the time" and she thought they were "amazing" together.

She said she got snapped at and told "do this do that".

"You fucked up a special day for me" she texted.

She apologised for him thinking she was "hitting on" her friend Sam's husband.

"I just want to love and be loved ...and I'm certainly very unhappy and sad."

Pistorius replied later at 5.01pm saying he wanted to "sort this out".

"I'm sorry for the things I say without thinking and for taking offence to some of your actions".

He said being ill was not an excuse but he was upset that she left him to "go talk to a guy".

He was upset that she carried on talking to him when he walked away.

He said when he left he was starving because he had only eaten a tiny wrap.

"I was hungry and upset," he said.

He apologised for asking her to stop patting his head the previous day saying he knew she was just showing him love and apologised for asking her to stop putting on an accent.

Moller read another message from Steenkamp to Pistorius on February 7 in which she said she was unhappy about the way she had been treated at a function she went to him with.

"I did not think you would criticise me so loudly. I regard myself as a lady but I did not feel like one tonight," she said.

She said he was the one person she deserved to be protected by.

Moller said that of the more than 1,000 communications, 90% were "normal and loving" conversations.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Steenkamp and to charges under the

WITNESS CAUGHT IN POLICE PHOTO - Sapa

A State witness's hand was in a police photo, despite her denying that she was in the room at the time, Oscar Pistorius's murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

When court resumed after lunch, Kenny Oldwadge, for Pistorius, asked to see State witness Annette Stipp's bracelet. She corrected him, saying it was a watch.

She took it off, handed it to a police officer, who brought it to Oldwadge.

He looked at it in silence for several seconds, then handed it back.

Displayed on screens around the court was photo of Stipp's bedroom.

Through the window, in the distance, the bathroom and toilet window of Pistorius's townhouse were visible.

She has testified to hearing gunshots and a woman screaming from Pistorius's house around 3am on February 14 last year, when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, apparently thinking she was an intruder hiding in his toilet.

Oldwadge asked for a close up of the hand holding back the curtain in the photo. Visible on the wrist was a watch.

"It looks like my hand," Stipp replied to Oldwadge's question.

She had earlier denied being in the room when the photos of her bedroom were taken.

"So in other words your evidence was wrong," Oldwadge challenged her.

"I accept that that is my hand," Stipp said.

"This is once again a mistake on your part," Oldwadge said.

"There were two sets of photos taken," she replied.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

DID WITNESS HEARS SHOTS OR THUDS? - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer questioned a witness's recollection of the sounds she said she heard from the paralympian's house, during his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday .

Kenny Oldwadge was interrogating Annette Stipp, whose townhouse is near Pistorius's in the Silver Woods estate, Pretoria, over the affidavit she had submitted to court.

She said in her statement, written in Afrikaans, she heard two sets of sounds from Pistorius's house around 3am on February 14 last year, when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

She heard "slae" (blows) followed by "drie plofgeluide" (three thudding sounds).

"Slae and plofgeluide, are you saying it's the same thing?" Oldwadge asked her.

"As a lay witness... there were two sets of sounds. I did not look so much at the descriptive words of the sounds," Stipp replied.

She said the first set of sounds were like gunshots.

Pistorius contends he shot Steenkamp through the locked door of his toilet, thinking she was an intruder.

Stipp testified that from her bedroom balcony she and her husband could see across an open plot to Pistorius's bathroom and toilet windows.

Court was adjourned for lunch.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

WITNESS QUESTIONED ON STATEMENT - Sapa

A deleted phrase in a sworn statement from a witness was examined in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Kenny Oldwadge, for the paralympic athlete, was asking Annette Stipp, an occupational therapist, why her reference to seeing a man walking in Pistorius's house was deleted after she signed her sworn statement.

Stipp, whose house is near Pistorius's in Silver Woods estate,

Pretoria, has testified to hearing screams and shouting from the athlete's house around 3am on February 14 last year.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He contends he shot her through the locked door of his toilet, thinking she was an intruder.

Asked by Oldwadge to explain why the reference to the walking man was deleted, Stipp said: "The fact that there was a man walking was not my observation."

She added that it was corrected in consultation with the prosecution. The statement was deposed on March 18 last year.

Stipp's husband Johan has previously testified that from the couple's bedroom balcony he saw a person moving walking behind the frosted bathroom window of Pistorius's house on the morning of February 14. There was light on in the bathroom at the time.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

OLDWADGE LOOKS FOR LOST TIME - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwadge questioned what happened to the time a witness spent while Reeva Steenkamp was being killed, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

"Where do we find the time that we've lost?" Oldwadge asked Annette Stipp.

Stipp testified to hearing gunshots and a woman screaming between 3.02am and 3.17am on February 14 last year, from a nearby house in the Silver Woods Estate, Pretoria.

She was testifying in Pistorius's trial. He is accused of the premeditated murder of Steenkamp in his townhouse on February 14 last year. Pistorius contends he shot her through the locked door of his toilet, thinking she was an intruder.

After hearing what sounded like gunshots, Stipp got out of bed and went onto a small balcony of her bedroom, which looked out over an open plot at Pistorius's bathroom windows.

She and her husband Johan then went onto the larger balcony of their bedroom to try and see what was happening.

Oldwadge asked her how much time elapsed between their moving from the small to the large balcony.

"I can't say exactly how much time we spent at each step of the process," she replied.

He asked her how much time they were on the larger balcony for.

"I'm not quite sure, but it could have been at least 10 minutes... that's an assumption," she replied.

At one point she interrupted Oldwadge to add something to a statement.

"One moment, I don't interrupt you and I expect the same courtesy,"

Oldwadge said.

"You were at odds with me when I mentioned you were on the small balcony three to four minutes... I remind you of your evidence earlier when you said you didn't have a watch. So you're not in a position to tell us. Somewhere time was wasted."

Stipp replied: "I maintain that I walked from the small balcony to the larger balcony without spending time in the bedroom."

Stipp is married to radiologist Johan Stipp, who testified in the first week of the trial.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

OSCAR WITNESS CHALLENGED IN DETAIL - Sapa

Monday's first witness in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial was forced to trawl her memory for the exact positioning of her body and feet on the morning she heard screams and shots coming from his house.

"Is it also possible that you could have sat at the lower end of the bed?" asked Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwadge in a series of repetitive movement-by-movement questions put to Stipp in the High Court in Pretoria.

She had to wrack her brain over details such as whether her feet were on the floor or not, which position her body was in when she heard screams, the distance from a reading lamp to a balcony column.

Stipp's radiologist husband Johan was the first doctor at the scene after going to Pistorius's house to see if he could help after hearing screaming.

Stipp said she had seen lights on at a house across the way, a man and woman's screaming, and six shots.

She found out the next day that it was Pistorius's house and that a woman was killed there.

Oldwadge pedantically challenged her evidence, wanting to know whether the screaming she heard was "muffled" or that of a person in an enclosed space.

After yet another question on the exact timeline from when she woke up at 3.02am in a coughing fit, to the time she looked at her clock to see 3.17am, she sighed and said: "Again, I cannot absolutely agree with that."

At one point she countered that she was not making notes at the time.

In the early hours of February 14 last year, Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The sprinter, nicknamed "Blade Runner", has denied intending to kill Steenkamp, contending that when he fired four shots into a locked bathroom door. He believed there was an intruder in the toilet cubicle.

The paralympic athlete has pleaded not guilty to charges of the premeditated murder of Steenkamp; as well as contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

The firearm contraventions are linked to separate incidents in which Pistorius allegedly fired a pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013, and allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein in September 2012.

 

OLDWADGE CROSS-EXAMINES OSCAR WITNESS - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer questioned whether a woman who heard screaming from the paralympic athlete's house when Reeva Steenkamp was killed had heard other versions of what happened.

"You must have heard certain versions of what was alleged to have taken place?" Kenny Oldwadge, for Pistorius, asked Annette Stipp.

He asked her whether she had compared her version of the early morning hours of February 14, with others she may have heard in the media.

"I did not compare versions with my version so I can't say I agree or disagree with those versions," Stipp replied.

She said she had not followed media coverage of the case religiously.

"I have not been sitting in front of the TV watching it."

She was testifying in Pistorius's trial.

He is accused of the premeditated murder of Steenkamp in his Silver Woods Estate, Pretoria, townhouse on February 14 last year. Pistorius contends he shot her through the locked door of his toilet, thinking she was an intruder.

Stipp's house is near Pistorius's in the same townhouse complex.

Stipp, an occupational therapist, earlier told the court she was unable to sleep that morning as she was feeling "flu-ish".

Oldwadge questioned her about her "level of alertness" that morning, shortly before she heard gunshots while lying in bed, compared to a few minutes later. She said it was the same throughout.

Stipp is married to radiologist Johan Stipp, who testified in the first week of the trial.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

WITNESS HEARD 'TERRIFIED SCREAMING' - Sapa

A woman who lives near Oscar Pistorius's house heard a woman's "terrified screaming" in the early morning hours when Reeva Steenkamp was killed, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

"Moments after the shots I heard a lady screaming. Terrified, terrified screaming," Annette Stipp said to questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

She was testifying in Pistorius's trial.

He is accused of the premeditated murder of Steenkamp in his Silver Woods Estate, Pretoria, townhouse on February 14 last year. Pistorius contends he shot her through the locked door of his toilet, thinking she was an intruder.

Stipp, an occupational therapist, said she was unable to sleep as she was feeling "flu-ish". She looked at the clock radio and saw it was 3.02am and was about to get up to drink water.

"As I was getting up I heard what sounded to me like gunshots."

Stipp is married to radiologist Johan Stipp, who testified in the first week of the trial.

She said she could see lights on in the house the screams were coming from. The Stipps' bedroom balcony looks out at Pistorius's bathroom window.

Pistorius has said, in his bail application statement, that the lights were off in his house.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

DAY 14 OF PISTORIUS TRIAL TO START - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was back in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday morning for day 14 of his murder trial.

He arrived shortly before 9am, put his bag on his seat in the dock and spoke to his aunt.

Three members of the African National Congress Women's League sat down in their usual places, in the front row of the public gallery. Reeva Steenkamp's mother June came in soon after and sat next to them.

Pistorius's aunt walked across to the other side of the public gallery, sat down next to June and they spoke briefly.

Pistorius, while on his way to speak his lawyer Barry Roux, greeted June with a nod of his head. He kept on looking over to her while Roux was talking.

The Steenkamp and Pistorius families have been sitting on opposite sides of the public gallery since the trial started.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

TRIAL TO RESUME AFTER POSTPONEMENT - Sapa

The first of the five last State witnesses in the trial of murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius is expected to take the stand when proceedings resume in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Last Wednesday, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was granted an adjournment in order to allow the State to make final witness consultations as it prepares to wrap up its case.

The last witness to take the stand before the postponement was a mobile phone expert who testified that two ipads found in Pistorius home showed that porn and used car websites had been visited in the early evening of February 13, 2013.

In the early hours of February 14, Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The sprinter, nicknamed "Blade Runner", has denied intending to kill Steenkamp, contending that when he fired four shots into a locked bathroom door, he believed there was an intruder in the toilet cubicle.

The paralympic athlete has pleaded not guilty to charges of the premeditated murder of Steenkamp; as well as contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

The firearm contraventions are linked to separate incidents in which Pistorius allegedly fired a pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013, and allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein in September 2012.

Last week, ballistics expert Chris Mangena testified that Steenkamp was in a defensive position when she was hit by the last shots Pistorius fired.

He also elaborated on the maximum damage to human tissue that the expanding "Black Talon" bullets Pistorius used would have caused to the body of the model and law graduate.

During his time in the dock, Pistorius has often shown extreme emotions, clutching his head, blocking his ears, retching and vomiting.

Last Sunday, the office of the chief justice announced that the trial had been extended. Except for a short recess from April 7 to 11, proceedings under Judge Thokozile Masipa would continue until Friday May 16.

Last week, Pistorius's lawyer, Brian Webber, said the murder accused has had to put his house up for sale to meet his legal costs.

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