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Thu Oct 23 01:57:42 SAST 2014

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial Day 18

TimesLIVE, Tymon Smith, Graeme Hosken, AFP and Sapa | 08 April, 2014 09:21

Get all the news from the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on Day 18 in one place.

'I TRY NOT TO LIE': OSCAR - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius told the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday that he was a Christian and that he tried not to lie.

"I try not to lie," Pistorius said under cross-examination from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Nel asked: "Do you live strictly on Christian principles?"

Pistorius replied: "I try to... I'm a Christian... I don't always think the things I do are right.

Nel was cross-examining Pistorius.

He asked the athlete what a "zombie stopper" was and if he had been in the presence of someone using the term.

Pistorius said he could not remember knowing the term or being in the presence of someone who used the term.

Nel then asked if he would be surprised if there was a video on a international news channel on which the term was used.

Pistorius said yes. Nel said he would show Pistorius the video.

However, Barry Roux, SC for Pistorius, objected and said it was an ambush.

Nel said the defence had presented lengthy character evidence and the State did not investigate character evidence.

Nel said Pistorius asked him to "please" show him the video.

"This witness indicated that he wanted to see the video," Nel said.

Pistorius is on trial charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

PISTORIUS DESCRIBES SHOOTING - Sapa

"Before I knew it I had fired four shots," Oscar Pistorius testified in court on Tuesday of the volley that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, before breaking down and sobbing in the witness stand.

Pistorius, 27, told the High Court in Pretoria that minutes before, in the middle of the night, he had panicked when he heard his bathroom window slam and scrambled on his leg stumps to retrieve his 9mm pistol from the side of his bed.

"My Lady, that's the moment that everything changed. I thought that there was a burglar that was gaining entry to my home."

The double amputee paralympian said his next thoughts were: "I needed to arm myself, that I needed to protect Reeva and that I needed to get my gun."

With the firearm in his hand, he then crept back to the bathroom. He said he believed Steenkamp was still in bed, and called to her to ring the police.

"I wasn't sure if someone was going to come up the ladder or out of the toilet and attack me," he said in tears, referring to a ladder workmen at his house had used earlier in the day.

"I heard a noise from inside the toilet which I perceived to be someone inside the toilet. I fired four shots into the door and shouted for Reeva to phone the police.

"I don't know how long I stood there for, shouting for Reeva..."

He said his ears were ringing from the gunshots and he was not sure whether she had responded, so he made his way back to the bedroom still calling to her.

Pistorius, who is accused of killing the blonde model with intent, dramatically described his dread at realising that she was not in bed and that he may have shot her.

"But there was nobody, no one responded to me," he said, choking up.

He said he looked to see if she was hiding on the floor beside the bed or behind a curtain, all the while still pointing his firearm in the direction of the dark passage.

"I then... it was that point My Lady that it first dawned upon me that it could be Reeva that could be in the bathroom, in the toilet."

Pistorius said he made his way back to the bathroom with "mixed emotions", not wanting to believe it could be Steenkamp at whom he had fired and found the door locked.

He ran to the balcony and screamed "help, help, help", and then put on his prostheses and tried to kick open the door.

"I don't think I ever screamed like that or cried like that. I was crying out for the Lord to help me, I was crying for Reeva; I was screaming."

At this point in his testimony, Pistorius collapsed in hysterical sobs and Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned court until Wednesday morning.

Pistorius had been on the stand all day, and at one point removed his prostheses to demonstrate why he felt compromised without them.

A collective gasp went up from the public benches as the sprinter re-appeared in the court room on his leg stumps, suddenly a shadow of the famed figure seen on the track.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder over the pre-dawn shooting on Valentine's Day last year.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pistorius had told the court he was "besotted" with Steenkamp.

Under questioning from his defence lawyer Barry Roux, he read dozens of mobile phone text messages he exchanged with Steenkamp in the months they dated and spoke of the ups and downs of their relationship.

The messages mostly portray a caring, affectionate pair, with Pistorius calling his lover "Angel" and constantly worrying about her safety.

But the prosecution last month focused on a number of bitter rows conducted via text message, notably one in which Steenkamp complained of Pistorius's temper and said at times she felt scared of him.

Referring to one particular disagreement, Pistorius conceded that he had been "insecure and jealous" when Steenkamp spoke to another man but insisted they soon resolved the issue and were planning a future together.

A message Steenkamp sent in January 2013 read: "I know we argue from time to time, but I know we are actually quite similar."

Pistorius began his testimony on Monday with a tearful apology to Steenkamp's family and swore that to his mind he had been trying to protect her when he blindly fired the shots into the bathroom door.

Neighbours called to the stand by the State have testified that they heard a woman scream in fear from the direction of Pistorius's home around the time Steenkamp died.

But Roux has memorably insisted that his client screams "like a woman" when he is emotional and that the witnesses only heard one voice.

He has also pleaded not guilty to three firearms-related charges that have allowed the prosecution to lead evidence portraying the track star as hot-headed and irresponsible.

On Tuesday, Pistorius flatly denied having fired his handgun through the open sunroof of a car on an outing to the Vaal River with friends, contradicting their testimony.

"That never happened," he said.

OSCAR TRIAL ADJOURNS - Sapa

Moments after distraught paralympian Oscar Pistorius had composed himself, his murder trial was adjourned by the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"We'll adjourn until 9.30 tomorrow [Wednesday] morning," Judge Thokozile Masipa said seconds after the court had sat down again.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, made the request after the athlete broke down into uncontrollable sobbing, which caused the court to adjourn.

His sister Aimee and other relatives led him out of court GD through a side entrance.

After he came back, Roux said he could not "responsibly ask the court to continue".

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel had no objection.

Pistorius had been testifying about how he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria townhouse on February 14 last year, apparently believing she was an intruder.

Pistorius is accused of murdering Steenkamp.

He is also charged with contravening 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.

He has also denied guilt on these two charges.

OSCAR BREAKS DOWN - Sapa

A distraught Oscar Pistorius said on Tuesday he did not immediately realise what he had done after he fired the shots that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

He was testifying in the High Court in Pretoria, where he is on trial for murder.

Pistorius said that after shuffling into the bathroom and firing off four shots very quickly, he still thought he was dealing with an intruder.

He shouted to Steenkamp to call the police.

He has been charged with murdering her on Valentine's Day 2013, but he said he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her dead.

Pistorius said at this stage, he was still scared to retreat because he was not sure if somebody was trying to enter his home with a ladder or if someone was in the toilet.

"I don't know how long I stood there for, shouting for Reeva...," said Pistorius.

His ears were ringing and he could not hear if there was a response or not. He walked to the room, still shouting to Steenkamp.

"I didn't hear anything," he said.

It did not occur to him that it could be Steenkamp in the toilet and still thought it could be intruders on ladders trying to get up to the first floor.

He got to his bed, and was still talking to Steenkamp.

"But there was nobody, no one responded to me," he said, choking up.

He put his hand to the right side of the bed to see if Steenkamp was there.

He thought she had got down to the floor as he had told her to when he first heard a noise.

He was still holding his firearm towards the passage, with not much light available.

"I then...it was that point My Lady that it first dawned upon me that it could be Reeva that could be in the bathroom in the toilet."

He jumped up and ran his hand behind the curtain to see if she was not hiding behind there.

He made his way back up the bathroom passage on his stumps with "mixed emotions", not wanting to believe it could be Steenkamp in the toilet.

He tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. He ran to the balcony and screamed "help, help, help".

His put his prosthetic legs on, ran as fast as he could and tried to kick the door.

He panicked, was screaming, crying out.

"I don't think I ever screamed like that or cried like that. I was crying out for the Lord to help me, I was crying for Reeva I was screaming."

When he got the door open he saw Steenkamp and she was not breathing.

When he said this he doubled over and howled and sobbed.

Court was adjourned until Wednesday at 9.30am.

Pistorius has denied that he murdered Steenkamp and two other charges related to the Firearms Act.

Earlier, he admitted that he was holding a firearm when it was discharged at Tasha's in Melrose Arch although he has pleaded not guilty to that charge too.

The other Firearm Act charge relates to firing a gun out of the sunroof of a car in Modderfontein. He denied this.

OSCAR WAS FRANTIC TO BREAK DOWN DOOR- Sapa

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius was frantic to break down a toilet door to see if who he had shot was his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"At that time all I wanted to do was just look inside to see if it was Reeva," he said, crying.

Pistorius was recalling events of the early hours of Valentine's Day last year when he shot Steenkamp through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home.

He said after he shot four times at the door, he did not know what to do.

As Pistorius went over the events, he spoke using his hands.

The closer he got to telling the court how he found out it was Steenkamp in the toilet cubicle, the more emotional he became.

He said he looked for Steenkamp in the bedroom, but could not find her. He put on his prosthetic legs and ran to the bathroom, putting his firearm on the carpet.

He said he kicked the door, and then went to the bedroom to fetch his cricket bat. At the time, the lights were on in the bathroom.

"The lights were on at that stage. I remember it was when I kicked the door," an emotional Pistorius said.

He said he hit the door three times then took a big plank and threw it at the door.

Then he saw Steenkamp.

"At that point, all I wanted to do was climb into the toilet," he said.

"I unlocked the door... And I sat over Reeva and I cried. I don't know how long I was there," he said, breaking down.

His sister Aimee also burst into tears in court.

Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned the court for the athlete to compose himself.

As court adjourned, Pistorius sat crying out loud. Aimee rushed to his side and hugged him, followed by his brother Carl and other relatives.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

PISTORIUS SOBS IN COURT - Sapa

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius howled and sobbed as he told the court of the moment he found that his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was not breathing after he had shot her.

He had just taken the court through his story of what he thought was a burglar in his home in Pretoria.

"...She wasn't breathing," said Pistorius, after describing how he broke the door down.

His sister Aimee let out a sob, and Pistorius started sobbing and howling, doubled over as he cried loudly.

A policeman promptly asked everyone to stand up and his brother Carl and his lawyer Brian Webber rushed over to him.

The judge ordered an adjournment, and Carl held Pistorius in a tight embrace as he was led out of the court while everyone whispered.

June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother, stared, and looked occasionally at the friends sitting next to her.

Pistorius has denied murdering Steenkamp.

PISTORIUS TELLS OF SUSPICIOUS NOISE, FEAR - Sapa

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday testified that he panicked when he heard what he believed was a burglar on the night he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp, as he spent a second, emotional day on the stand in his murder trial.

Pistorius told the High Court in Pretoria he heard a bathroom window bang after the couple had cuddled up in bed on February 13, 2013.

"My Lady, that is the moment that everything changed. I thought there was a burglar," the disabled Olympic athlete said in a faltering voice.

"I just froze. I did not know what to do. I interpreted it as somebody climbing in," he added.

"The first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself ... That I needed to get my gun."

He proceeded to tell how he fetched his firearm and took it out of its holster, adding he believed he had to protect himself and Steenkamp, who he shot four times through a locked bathroom door in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day.

Before Pistorius began this crucial part of his testimony, his lawyer Barry Roux asked him to remove his prosthetic legs and a collective gasp went up from the public benches when he re-appeared in the court room on his stumps.

Pistorius, 27, on Monday told the court he felt vulnerable and lacked balance when he was not wearing his prosthesis, as was the case at the time of the shooting.

He has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and three unrelated firearm charges.

Questioned by Roux about the alleged incident that led to one of those, he denied firing a shot through the open sunroof of a car on September 30, 2012.

"That never happened," he said.

State witnesses Samantha Taylor and Darren Fresco, a former girlfriend and friend of Pistorius, both told the High Court in Pretoria that they were stunned when he fired a shot through the open sunroof of a car while they were driving back from an outing to the Vaal River.

Pistorius also differed with witness accounts of an incident in Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, when he set off Fresco's pistol under a table while they were having lunch.

In his version, he never explicitly asked Fresco to take the blame, but neither did he intervene when his friend did so, glibly telling the owner of the restaurant that the firearm had gone off when it fell out of his pants.

Most of the morning's testimony however was taken up by Roux asking Pistorius to read and explain dozens of mobile phone text messages he exchanged with Steenkamp in the months they dated.

The messages mostly portray a caring, affectionate pair and Pistorius told the court he was "besotted with her" and felt he had fallen more deeply in love than she had.

The prosecution last month focused on a number of bitter rows that played out in their electronic exchanges, notably one in which Steenkamp complained of Pistorius's temper and said at times she felt scared of him.

Referring to one particular disagreement, Pistorius conceded that he had been irritable and insecure on the day they argued but insisted they soon resolved the issue.

"My Lady we were at an engagement party. It was a bad day in our relationship."

The athlete told the court he saw the model speaking to a man he did not know and felt "insecure and jealous". Pistorius said he "wasn't kind" to her as he "should have been".

Roux asked Pistorius to read out a message Steenkamp sent weeks before her death in which she brushed aside the arguments and said she felt a great affinity with Pistorius.

"I know we argue from time to time, but I know we are actually quite similar," the 29-year-old model wrote on January 2013.

Pistorius has been on the stand since Monday, when he began his testimony with a tearful apology to Steenkamp's family and swore that to his mind he had been trying to protect her when he blindly fired the shots that wounded her in the hip, arm and head.

The State contends that he shot her with intent after an argument.

Neighbours called to the stand by the State have testified that they heard a woman scream in fear from the direction of Pistorius's home around the time Steenkamp died.

On Monday, a retired pathologist called by the defence testified that it was unlikely that Steenkamp had time to shout, then conceded, depending on how rapidly Pistorius had fired, that it was possible.

If found guilty, Pistorius could be jailed for life.

PISTORIUS WANTED TO PROTECT HIMSELF AND REEVA, COURT HEARS - Tymon Smith

It appeared to be a difficult day for Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on the second day of his testimony in his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The day began with Pistorius reading out WhatsApp messages between him and Steenkamp, which were used by the defence to demonstrate the couple’s loving relationship in the months leading to her shooting on Valentine’s Day last year.

Pistorius became tearful while explaining to the court that he was besotted with Steenkamp and that the couple had been talking of a future together that included buying a property in Johannesburg.

He told the court that Steenkamp had received hate mail for dating him.

After the tea adjournment, Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux, began leading his client through the firearms-related charges against him. He began with an incident in which Pistorius is alleged to have fired a shot through the sunroof of a car while driving back from the Vaal River with Samantha Taylor and Darren Fresco, both state witnesses.

While Pistorius admitted that when the group was pulled over for speeding, he had been irritated by a policeman who picked up his firearm from the seat of the car and emptied a bullet from the chamber, he denied that he had ever fired a shot, telling the court that the incident, "never happened M'Lady".

Pistorius also spoke about an incident at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, when Fresco's gun, which he had asked to see, had gone off. He said that he blamed both Fresco and himself for the incident and maintained that he had made an offer to Tasha's owner Jason Loupis to pay for damages.

February 13 and 14

Roux then moved on to the events of February 13, 2013 and the early hours of the following morning. Pistorius told the court that had been in Johannesburg from early on February 13th for meetings and had visited his friend Justin Divaris.

Pistorius said that he and Steenkamp changed their original plans and decided to have a quiet night at his house, with Steenkamp preparing dinner when he arrived home just after 6pm that evening.

Pistorius told the court that the couple ate just after 7pm and then went up to bed. Because it was warm and the air-conditioning was not working, he opened the balcony doors in his bedroom and placed two fans in front of it to allow cool air to flow into the room.

He closed the curtains and he and Steenkamp spent time in bed, texting and talking on their phones, while chatting to each other in between.

Pistorius said he was tired and had asked Steenkamp if he should bring in the fans and close the doors, but she told him that she would do it before she went to sleep. He had earlier locked the bedroom door and placed his firearm under the left side of the bed, where he was sleeping due to a right shoulder injury.

Roux then asked for a short adjournment for his client to change his clothes in order to demonstrate the difference in his height with and without his prosthetic legs on.

Pistorius returned wearing shorts and a white long-sleeve vest and stood next to the toilet door in the court room, first on his legs and then on his stumps.

The Blade Runner later testified that the heat in the room woke him up in the early hours of the morning of February 14.

Steenkamp, who was still awake, told him to go back to sleep, but Pistorius, seeing that the fans were still on but the lights were off, decided to bring them in.

Using the bed for support, Pistorius, on his stumps, made his way to the balcony door, brought the fans in, closed the curtains and locked the door behind him.

He said that it was then that he heard the sound of the bathroom window opening and, thinking that it was the sound of a burglar and realising that there was no barrier between him and the bathroom, he froze with fear.

His first thought, Pistorius told the court, was that he needed to arm himself and get his gun to protect both himself and Steenkamp.

Still on his stumps, he moved to his side of the bed, grabbed his gun and moved to the passage in front of the bathroom, whispering to Steenkamp to "get down and phone the police".

Pistorius said that at the entrance to the bathroom he began to shout at what he believed were burglars and again at Steenkamp to get down and phone the police. He then heard the toilet door slam and assumed that the intruder was behind the door.

Pistorius's testimony continues after lunch.

OSCAR FINALLY TELLS WHAT HAPPENED - Sapa

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius finally told the High Court in Pretoria what happened when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his Pretoria house.

"I think I initially just froze. I didn't know what to do," he said.

"There is no barrier between me and the bathroom," he said in a voice on the verge of breaking.

He had woken up in the early hours of February 14 2013 and noticed that Steenkamp was also awake.

"She rolled over to me and said 'can't you sleep my baba'," he said.

She replied that she could not and he had gone and moved fans and was about to place a pair of jeans over an amplifier light when he heard what sounded like a bathroom window opening.

"That's the moment that everything changed. I thought that there was a burglar that was gaining entry to my home."

He said he immediately thought someone could be there at any moment.

The first thing he thought was: "... I needed to arm myself, that I needed to protect Reeva and that I needed to get my gun."

He has denied that he murdered Reeva and two other charges related to the Firearms Act.

Earlier, he admitted that he was holding a firearm when it was discharged at Tasha's in Melrose Arch although he has pleaded not guilty to that charge too.

The other Firearm Act charge relates to firing a gun out of the sunroof of a car in Modderfontein.

The court adjourned for lunch.

PISTORIUS TELLS OF SUSPICIOUS NOISE, FEAR - Sapa

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday testified that he panicked when he heard what he believed was a burglar on the night he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp, as he spent a second, emotional day on the stand in his murder trial.

Pistorius told the High Court in Pretoria he heard a bathroom window bang after the couple had cuddled up in bed on February 13, 2013.

"My Lady, that is the moment that everything changed. I thought there was a burglar," the disabled Olympic athlete said in a faltering voice.

"I just froze. I did not know what to do. I interpreted it as somebody climbing in," he added.

"The first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself ... That I needed to get my gun."

He proceeded to tell how he fetched his firearm and took it out of its holster, adding he believed he had to protect himself and Steenkamp, who he shot four times through a locked bathroom door in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day.

Before Pistorius began this crucial part of his testimony, his lawyer Barry Roux asked him to remove his prosthetic legs and a collective gasp went up from the public benches when he re-appeared in the court room on his stumps.

Pistorius, 27, on Monday told the court he felt vulnerable and lacked balance when he was not wearing his prosthesis, as was the case at the time of the shooting.

He has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and three unrelated firearm charges.

Questioned by Roux about the alleged incident that led to one of those, he denied firing a shot through the open sunroof of a car on September 30, 2012.

"That never happened," he said.

State witnesses Samantha Taylor and Darren Fresco, a former girlfriend and friend of Pistorius, both told the High Court in Pretoria that they were stunned when he fired a shot through the open sunroof of a car while they were driving back from an outing to the Vaal River.

Pistorius also differed with witness accounts of an incident in Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, when he set off Fresco's pistol under a table while they were having lunch.

In his version, he never explicitly asked Fresco to take the blame, but neither did he intervene when his friend did so, glibly telling the owner of the restaurant that the firearm had gone off when it fell out of his pants.

Most of the morning's testimony however was taken up by Roux asking Pistorius to read and explain dozens of mobile phone text messages he exchanged with Steenkamp in the months they dated.

The messages mostly portray a caring, affectionate pair and Pistorius told the court he was "besotted with her" and felt he had fallen more deeply in love than she had.

The prosecution last month focused on a number of bitter rows that played out in their electronic exchanges, notably one in which Steenkamp complained of Pistorius's temper and said at times she felt scared of him.

Referring to one particular disagreement, Pistorius conceded that he had been irritable and insecure on the day they argued but insisted they soon resolved the issue.

"My Lady we were at an engagement party. It was a bad day in our relationship."

The athlete told the court he saw the model speaking to a man he did not know and felt "insecure and jealous". Pistorius said he "wasn't kind" to her as he "should have been".

Roux asked Pistorius to read out a message Steenkamp sent weeks before her death in which she brushed aside the arguments and said she felt a great affinity with Pistorius.

"I know we argue from time to time, but I know we are actually quite similar," the 29-year-old model wrote on January 2013.

Pistorius has been on the stand since Monday, when he began his testimony with a tearful apology to Steenkamp's family and swore that to his mind he had been trying to protect her when he blindly fired the shots that wounded her in the hip, arm and head.

The State contends that he shot her with intent after an argument.

Neighbours called to the stand by the State have testified that they heard a woman scream in fear from the direction of Pistorius's home around the time Steenkamp died.

On Monday, a retired pathologist called by the defence testified that it was unlikely that Steenkamp had time to shout, then conceded, depending on how rapidly Pistorius had fired, that it was possible.

If found guilty, Pistorius could be jailed for life.

OSCAR SOBS, GAGS - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius sobbed and gagged in the stand at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday as photos of Reeva Steenkamp's corpse flashed onto a screen next to him.

A police officer brought him a bright green bucket as he propped his head on his hand and turned red as he tried to contain himself.

He was being led by his lawyer Barry Roux in testifying about the moments leading up to him shooting and killing his girlfriend Steenkamp in the early morning of February 14 last year.

He fired four times through the locked door of his toilet, apparently believing there was an intruder behind it.

Moments after the officer had placed the bucket at his feet, Pistorius straightened in his chair, folded his arms across his chest and continued his testimony.

The photos of Steenkamp, showing the bullet wound to her head, appeared on screens around the court during a search for a photo of the passage between Pistorius's bedroom and bathroom.

He had told the court that when he woke up and heard his bathroom window sliding open, "everything changed".

"The first thing that went through my mind was that I need to arm myself. I need to protect Reeva and myself."

He got out of bed on his stumps and went around to the other side of it, his hand out in front of him because it was dark.

"I grabbed my firearm from under the bed and took it out of the holster."

As he was about to leave the bedroom to go and investigate the source of the noise, he whispered to Steenkamp.

"I slowed down and I had my hand extended in front of me. I whispered to Reeva to phone the police."

He approached the bathroom from his bedroom.

"I was overcome with fear and shouted for the intruder to get out and for Reeva to call the police."

Shortly before he reached the bathroom, he said, he started shouting again.

"I heard a door slam, which could only have been the toilet door."

Court was then adjourned for lunch.

Pistorius is accused of murdering Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse.

He is also charged with 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 SHOWS HEIGHT WITHOUT PROSTHESIS - Sapa

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius took off his prosthetic legs in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to show his height with and without them.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, asked for a brief adjournment for the athlete to change.

Pistorius returned wearing a long sleeve white top and black shorts.

Roux asked him to stand next to the bathroom door of the mock-up toilet cubicle in court -- not to give evidence but to give the court a indication of his height with his prosthesis on and with them off.

Pistorius stood in front of the door for a few seconds looking at Roux.

"I ask that you take your prosthesis off," said Roux.

Pistorius took a seat on a chair in front of the public gallery and removed his prosthesis.

The athlete went to stand in front of his bathroom door again but this time looked down.

He sat down, put on his prosthesis and made his way back to the witness stand.

Roux asked him what time he and his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp went to bed on February 13, 2013. He said between 9 and 10pm.

"I woke up, My Lady, in the early hours of the 14th of February," he said his voice quivering.

"I sat up in bed. I noticed that the fans were still running and that he door was still open. Reeva was still awake.

"She rolled over to me and said can't you sleep my baba. I said no."

He said he went outside to get the fans.

Pistorius was recalling the night Steenkamp was shot in his Pretoria home.

Pistorius has been charged with killing Steenkamp deliberately when he shot her dead through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he had mistaken her for an intruder.

The athlete also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

OSCAR OPENED REEVA PRESENT LATER - Sapa

A tearful Oscar Pistorius opened his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's Valentine's Day present to him months after her death, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

When he came home to Steenkamp on the evening of February 13, 2013, her present for him was waiting on the kitchen counter, the paralympian said to questioning by his lawyer Barry Roux.

"The card said Ozzie. Reeva told me I'm not allowed to open it until the next day, so I didn't open it."

As he began choking up with tears again, he struggled to continue.

"On her birthday on August 8 I opened it. It was a photo frame that she got made with four photos of her and I," he said, his voice trailing off.

Her birthday is in fact August 19.

Court was adjourned briefly for Pistorius to change out of his suit into a white long-sleeved top and tight, black tracksuit pants.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse in the early hours of February 14 last year.

He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder.

He is also charged with contravening 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.

He has also pleaded not guilty to these two charges.

OSCAR RELIVES MOMENTS BEFORE SHOOTING - Sapa

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius took the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday through domestic events on the night he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He told of their night time routine of taking tea and coffee up to his bedroom on the first floor of his home in the Silver Woods security estate in Pretoria.

Steenkamp lay on the bed surfing social media, occasionally showing him pictures of cars or interior decorating, with the television on.

He spoke to his cousin who was coming up from Port Elizabeth.

He explained his night-time routine of locking the bedroom door and putting his cricket bat between his bedroom door and a sunglasses cabinet to block the door.

He said he would usually set the burglar alarm with a remote in his hand once he had locked his bedroom door.

But because his house was being repainted, the door alarms did not work.

While he was chatting to his cousin, Steenkamp started doing floor exercises and yoga.

The double-amputee was airing his prosthetic legs after a day of being in a suit.

Steenkamp went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and called him to brush his too. He put his legs back on and went and brushed his teeth.

On his return to the room, he found her lying on the middle of the bed.

He moved to the left side of the bed, not his usual side, because his shoulder was sore and he had been receiving physiotherapy for this.

He placed his firearm behind the bedside table on the left side of the bed.

Pistorius has denied murdering Steenkamp as the State alleges, saying he thought there was an intruder in the house when he shot through the toilet door and killed her.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius heard toilet door slam.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial  #OscarPistorius I stopped shouting because I was worried person would know exactly where I was

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius I was overcome with fear and started shouting for burglar to get out and for Reeva to get on floor and phone police

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius I whispered for Reeva to get down and phone the police

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius I ran as quick as I could I couldn't see anything, I ran using my arms in front of me

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP the first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself and protect Reeva and I

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP tearing up as he says that he had thought there was a burglar. Froze, didn't know what to do

OSCAR BEGINS TELLING OF CRUCIAL HOURS - Sapa

Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday began recounting the hours before he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home last year.

When he came home on February 13 last year, he and Steenkamp appeared to have had an evening like many other couples, the High Court in Pretoria heard.

Led by his lawyer Barry Roux, Pistorius said he found Steenkamp in the kitchen making supper. They chatted briefly and he went upstairs to take a bath.

They ate supper shortly after 7pm.

"After dinner we sat at the dining room table for a while. We chatted about my day and about the contract she was going to sign."

They watched TV and he helped Steenkamp clear the table.

She asked him if he wanted anything to drink.

"I said yes. I can't remember if it was coffee or tea."

He went upstairs and she joined him a few minutes later.

"Around 8pm, I came to my room and opened the balcony doors."

Pistorius is accused of the murder of Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse in the early hours of February 14 last year. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, saying later he thought she was an intruder.

He is also charged with contravening 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.

Pistorius has also denied guilt on these two charges.

OSCAR RECALLS FEB 13, 2013 - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday recalled his activities on February 13, 2013, the day before he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home.

He told the High Court in Pretoria Steenkamp had slept over and when they woke up he left early because he had a meeting in Johannesburg and wanted to miss traffic.

"I thought Reeva would go back to Johannesburg," he said.

Pistorius said his meeting ended at noon and he called the estate agent.

They met briefly to discuss documents and so the athlete could sign papers.

After the meeting with the estate agent, Pistorius said he went to see his friend Justin Devaris. His girlfriend, who was a "very close friend" of Steenkamp later arrived.

He was going to meet up with friends and suggested Devaris's girlfriend invite Steenkamp to join her at the movies.

"I phoned Reeva and we had texted back and forth during the day," he said.

Steenkamp said she wanted to finish her washing and Pistorius said she could stay in Pretoria if she wanted to.

Pistorius said Steenkamp asked if she could cook dinner for them and said she would stay the night. She left the estate to get food.

He arrived shortly after 6pm and Steenkamp was preparing dinner.

"I went upstairs to change and shower," he said.

Around 7pm he went downstairs.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius asked him about his access to his IPad for the day. He said he had access to it for the entire day.

He said he was surfing the internet and when he went upstairs he used it again.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he had mistaken her for an intruder. He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

OSCAR DENIES FIREARM, AMMUNITION CHARGE - Sapa

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius denied on Tuesday that he owned a .38 calibre firearm or ammunition as stated in the charge sheet.

"I never owned a .38 calibre firearm. I never owned .38 ammunition," he told the High Court in Pretoria.

He said the firearm and ammunition belonged to his father.

"My understanding of the law is that you are allowed to give your ammunition to somebody for safe keeping," he said.

He said he never intended using the ammunition.

The athlete is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he had mistaken her for an intruder. He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

OSCAR ADMITS TASHAS DISCHARGE - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius admitted holding the gun that went off under a table in Tashas restaurant in Johannesburg, during his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

He said he had wanted to make sure the firearm was safe when his friend Darren Fresco handed it to him under the table so that he could check if had an attachment for a flashlight.

"A round came out of the breech and the next thing I knew the firearm went off," he said.

He has been charged under the Firearms Act for the discharge of the firearm. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

He said the restaurant in Melrose Arch went quiet and he was angry that Fresco had handed him a firearm that was unsafe.

"I said to him what if someone got hurt."

He gave the gun back to Fresco and people started talking again thinking there had been an explosion in the kitchen.

He said Fresco mentioned he would say the firearm fell or got hooked on his pants.

"I made the mistake of asking for a firearm at a restaurant," Pistorius said, adding that Fresco made the mistake of giving it to him.

He was relieved nobody got hurt. He told the restaurant owner that it was his fault and offered to pay for any damages.

He did not specifically ask Fresco to cover up for him, but he did say to Fresco that he could not afford for it "to get out".

Pistorius is accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria house on February 14 last year. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, saying later he mistook her for an intruder.

Pistorius is also charged with contravening the Firearms Control Act.

One relates to the shot fired from the Glock pistol at Tashas 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.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Placed my firearm under the bed. Wasn't usual for me to sleep on the left but because of right shoulder injury I was

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP the tv was on, I was texting my cousin in PE, Reeva on her phone, showing me things every now and again

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP took off his legs so that they could get some air put them as close to the door as he could next to the bed

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial  #OscarPistorius OP - there were troubles with the alarm system but out it on every night and activated it with the remote

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP - then Reeva came in, I closed and locked the bedroom door, used cricket bat to block door - as I did every night

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP drew curtains over fans to stop insects from coming into bedroom

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius then closed doors as far possible, closed blinds and curtains to block out light

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP I came into bedroom, opened balcony doors, air-conditioning not working, paced fans

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius usually after dinner we would have watched TV downstairs but we'd both had a hectic day so went upstairs

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius after dinner chatted about OP's day and a contract RS had been working on

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP and RS ate shortly after 7pm

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP - while Reeva was preparing dinner I was looking at cars on my Ipad - went upstairs, took bath, still on it

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP arrived home, RS was preparing dinner, he went upstairs to change

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius plans to stay in Joburg ditched, Reeva decided she would stay over, OP went home arrived just after 6

OSCAR DESCRIBES REEVA'S LAST DAY - Sapa

Reeva Steenkamp spent her last day alive at Oscar Pistorius's house in Pretoria, catching up on work and doing laundry, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

This emerged from extracts of over 500 pages of WhatsApp messages they sent each other in February last year.

Pistorius, led by his lawyer Barry Roux, SC, read some of the messages out to the court.

In one of them, they greeted each other with Steenkamp wishing him well at a meeting he was going to have with his financial adviser in Johannesburg.

"Good luck with everything today baba xxx...," the model and law graduate typed.

The following day, she was dead after he shot her three times through his toilet door and said later he thought she was the intruder he heard in the early hours of Valentine's Day.

Earlier, she sent a message saying she hoped he did not mind but she had gone back to his house in the Silver Lakes security estate in Pretoria to do some washing.

She said it would also help relieve some of her stress.

She had spent the night at his house the night before and had had a meeting or gone to the gym earlier, when she sent the message saying she had gone back to the house.

In the course of the day, she sent a message consoling him, saying ... "you are a nice guy... you are an amazing person" and the "hurdle" she mentioned, Pistorius said was related to his meeting.

He sent her a message saying she could stay the night if she wanted to.

The medal winning Paralympic and Olympic athlete has been charged with killing Steenkamp deliberately.

He also faces two charges under the Firearms Act.

One relates to discharging a firearm in a restaurant in Melrose Arch and the other to firing a weapon through the sunroof of a vehicle in Modderfontein.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

OSCAR TELLS COURT ABOUT GUN - Sapa

Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius was questioned in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday about claims that he had fired a shot through the sunroof of a car.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, told the court after the tea break that he would first deal with counts two, three and four before dealing with count one, murder.

Pistorius told the court how he Darren Fresco and Samantha Taylor left the Vaal River and were stopped by police officers on September 30, 2012.

Both Fresco and Taylor have testified that he shot out the sunroof intentionally.

The athlete is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he had mistaken her for an intruder. He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP went to meet estate agent then to see Justin Divaris

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP at meeting till around midday

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP woke up early to go to Joburg for meeting, Reeva had slept over

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius And now Roux takes OP to the events of 13 feb 2013

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP says on fourth charge the 38 special ammo was his father's which he kept in his safe for safekeeping

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP apologised to Lerena for what had happened

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP says he told Loupis that it was his fault and he would pay for the damages

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP - as I checked the firearm a round went into the breach and the next thing I knew a round went off

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius chatting over lunch OP asked Fresco if he could see his gun

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP's version is that after this they went to Divaris' house and then to dinner and he left for Scotland the next morning

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius other policeman helped OP find bullet that had been ejected from gun and fallen under seat

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP says policeman who saw his gun was aggressive in his manner when OP asked for it back

OSCAR READS MESSAGES TO COURT - Sapa

Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius read a litany of text messages between himself and Reeva Steenkamp in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, trawled through a file containing copies of hundreds of WhatsApp messages the couple exchanged,

He had Pistorius read them to the court in a clear attempt to prove they had a loving relationship.

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

"I know we argue from time to time, but I know we are actually quite similar," Steenkamp wrote to Pistorius in January 2013.

"It's okay to argue about the things we argue about, at least it's not about fundamental values," she wrote.

In another she said: "Thank you for being the most beautiful person to me... when I look at you I smile inside."

While reading them, Pistorius sometimes paused while crying and sniffing, propping his head on his hand when he seemed to become overwhelmed.

When she sent him a black and white photograph of herself with her hair done, Pistorius replied with several kisses.

When she told him "I like you", Pistorius replied with "I like you too" followed by several exclamation marks.

The State has previously used a few of the messages to show that Pistorius appeared at times to be jealous, possessive and quick to lose his temper.

While proceedings were underway, Pistorius's ex girlfriend Samantha Taylor tweeted: "Last lies you get to tell... You better make it worth your while." She deleted it minutes later.

Taylor was not in court on Tuesday, but has testified for the State.

She said Pistorius cheated on her with Steenkamp.

Pistorius is also is also charged with contravening 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.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The trial continues.

OSCAR TELLS LOVE STORY IN COURT - Sapa

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius was at pains to tell the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday that he and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp cared for each other.

"I obviously cared about her," said Pistorius as his lawyer Barry Roux SC asked him to read extracts of over 1700 WhatsApp messages sent between the two to counter the argumentative tone of four of the messages.

In the messages they greet each other in the mornings, he says he wishes he could "tuck her in" at night, he asks her not to go running in an area he considers unsafe.

They were looking at furniture together after he put in an offer for a house in Johannesburg, to be closer to the law graduate and model that he shot dead through the bathroom door of his home in a security estate in Pretoria. He has said he mistook her for an intruder.

He said she understood the pressures of his life as an athlete -- the training, the diet, the media attention, and she was supportive.

He was under "general pressure" because of his fitness training as a paralympic athlete, financial pressure after purchasing a new home and pressure from the media.

"I don't think it's easy for someone who hasn't dated a sportsman to understand how strict our diet and our way of living is," he said.

"She did get the way I had to live healthy," he said, referring to a text in which she said she would help make him healthy.

In turn, Steenkamp's texts tell of stress about finances, signing with a new agency, and hate mail because she was dating Pistorius.

He explained that his last correspondence with his previous girlfriend Samantha Taylor was by email in which she "confessed" to sleeping with a man she was seeing while he was at the Olympic Games.

After that Taylor kept messaging him asking that they reconcile but he ignored them.

He met Steenkamp on November 4 and they went to the SA Sports awards together the same day, which Taylor previously told the court was when Pistorius cheated on her.

Pistorius said that after the sports awards, he and Steenkamp spoke about the possible media fallout. The next day he was called by the press about Taylor and he was named as a "player" and a "rondjagter" in the media.

Steenkamp was also compared to Taylor in the media.

He did not reply to any journalists trying to contact him and told Steenkamp she "knew what was right".

"She struggled with it because she never dealt with that level of attention before," he said.

Fake Twitter accounts were set up about her.

"When I said she could stay with me it was a weight off her shoulders. We were looking to make a future together."

Roux asked Pistorius to clarify the term "Boo" which appears in their texts.

"It's a sign of endearment used by young people sometimes, a nickname," said Pistorius.

Pistorius is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

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.

He has denied guilt on all charges.

REEVA 'AT TIMES EMOTIONAL' - Sapa

Reeva Steenkamp could at times be an "emotional person", paralympian Oscar Pistorius testified in his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"I think Reeva liked writing things down more. She was at times also an emotional person. She got her back up against the wall fairly easily," Pistorius told the court.

His lawyer Barry Roux was leading him in giving evidence about WhatsApp messages the couple exchanged in February 2013, days before he killed her.

"I don't often engage in an argument over text. Things don't get put correctly or emotions don't get portrayed in the right way."

Pistorius was asked about a text message exchange between the couple on February 7, in which Steenkamp told the athlete: "I can't be attacked by outsiders and be attacked by you" and that he did not "make her feel like a lady tonight".

Asked by Roux what the context of this message was, Pistorius said they had been at an event. He said he had to leave and asked Steenkamp not to stop and talk to anyone on the way out as he had training the following morning.

"She stopped and talked to a friend and we left 40 to 50 minutes later. On the way to the car we started arguing."

Roux asked him what was said in the car.

"I just said to her it was important for me to leave early tonight, I've got an extremely hard training session the next day."

He said the next morning he spoke to her and everything was fine between them.

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

Pistorius is also charged with 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.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux said he was only going to read a few of these lovey dovie msgs but this is getting ridiculous

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP has just defined the term "boo" as "a sign of endearment sometimes used by young people," #urbandictionary

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius she had her stress he had his stress they were stressed together etc

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP says Samantha Taylor sent him a msg in October 2012 confessing she'd cheated on him while he was at Olympics

OSCAR TELLS OF WHATSAPP ARGUMENT - Sapa

With tears trickling down his face, Oscar Pistorius told the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday his version of an argument on WhatsApp with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"I just think it was a bad day in our relationship," said Pistorius after reading out Steenkamp's text to him sent on January 27 at 4.17pm.

He had started reading the text fluently, but faltered when he came to parts where Steenkamp wrote: "I am the girl who fell in love with you and wanted to tell you this weekend."

The court has heard through State data analyst Francois Moller that Steenkamp said she was "scared" of Pistorius after an incident at her friend's party.

She complained that there appeared to "double standards" in their relationship and that he was telling her how to behave.

On Tuesday, Pistorius said they had gone to friend Darren Fresco's engagement party but Pistorius had to pick up her friend who was running late.

He had said they would leave at a certain time and towards the end of the engagement party they were walking out of the venue and Steenkamp started talking to an "unknown person".

"She didn't introduce me. I made my presence known and again she didn't introduce me.

"I think that maybe I was sensitive and felt insecure and jealous," he explained.

Steenkamp started tickling his neck but, said Pistorius, "I wasn't kind to her".

They left and instead of her spending the night at his home in Pretoria as planned, she went back to her house.

"She was also in a short mood with me so instead I dropped her off at her place."

Steenkamp then sent the message.

Pistorius is charged with murdering her by shooting her through a toilet door at his home.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

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.

He has denied guilt on all charges.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux loves these Whatsapps - done with the arguments now for some lovey dovies...keep Nel waiting for as long as he can

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP - RS told me she often got her back up against the wall pretty easily

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP called RS after this particular argument, apologised, another tiff sorted out

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Now move to message where RS said she deserved protection from OP

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius they had a little tiff they made up #breakingnews

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius OP "I wasn't kind to her like I should have been."

'DIFFICULT RELATIONSHIPS' FOR OSCAR, REEVA - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had both been in "difficult relationships" before they started dating, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"We both had things that kept us back in our relationship. We had both come out of difficult relationships," Pistorius said during his murder trial. He was being led in giving evidence by his lawyer Barry Roux.

He said that initially "I was more into her than she was".

Their relationship began to get serious in December 2012 and January the next year when "we started caring about each other".

"We started seeing a future with each other."

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

On the subject of cars, Pistorius said they both shared an interest in them.

"She was a car enthusiast. It was a common interest of ours."

Pistorius is also charged with 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 DESCRIBES FIRST DAYS WITH REEVA - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius met his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a mutual friend on November 4, 2012, he told the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

They met through a mutual friend, Justine Devaris, and "hit it off" over lunch.

Afterward she told Devaris that he had forgotten that he had RSVPd with a partner for the SA Sports Awards and Divaris suggested Steenkamp.

Pistorius said he did not think Steenkamp would be that "carefree" but he took Divaris's advice and she said yes and she would be ready in an hour and a half.

They went to the SA Sports Awards and later spoke until late. They were famously photographed at that event. He told Divaris "Reeva was a fantastic date".

The following day he asked her if she wanted to go for coffee and they saw each other every day for the next six days.

She went overseas after that and when she came back they took November and December getting to know each other.

"I asked her to come with me and she said she needed some time alone," he said of holiday plans he was making.

She wanted to spend time with a friend at Christmas but the friend cancelled plans and they spent Christmas together with his friends Darren Fresco and his girlfriend.

When he later went to Cape Town she asked if she could stay in his house in Pretoria.

At the end of January it was starting to "pick up".

"I think she was more into her than she was with me at times," he told the High Court in Pretoria, appearing more confident that on Monday.

The SA Sports Awards is when he "cheated" on his former girlfriend Samantha Taylor, according to Taylor's testimony earlier.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year, and also faces charges under the Firearms Act.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

AUDIO: Oscar Pistorius apologies to Reeva Steenkamp's parents

PISTORIUS TO RETURN TO THE STAND - Sapa

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius was expected to return to the stand at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to testify in his own murder trial.

The paralympic athlete began delivering his evidence-in-chief on Monday, led by his lawyer Barry Roux.

A tearful Pistorius offered an emotional apology to the family of his dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp who he shot dead through a locked bathroom door at his house on Valentines Day last year.

He claimed to have mistaken her for an intruder.

"I wake up every morning and you [her family] are the first people I think of, the first people I pray for... I was simply trying to protect Reeva," Pistorius sobbed.

He was on the stand for some two hours before Roux asked the court for an early adjournment, claiming Pistorius had spent a sleepless night and was too exhausted to continue.

"I'm just very tired ... obviously the weight of this is extremely overbearing," the sprinter said.

In response, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said: "Well, My Lady, I would like us to finalise the case. We have to get somewhere, I hope it is not a daily occurrence."

Court adjourned around 20 minutes early.

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