Oscar Pistorius in tears on second day of murder trial

Last Updated: 05/03/14 9:10am

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Oscar Pistorius: Broke down in tears

Oscar Pistorius: Broke down in tears

Sky Bet

Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears at his murder trial as his counsel continued their cross-examination of a key witness.

The Paralympic champion is accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February last year.

He is also accused of the 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 denies all the charges against him and says he shot Steenkamp by mistake at his home after mistaking her for an intruder.

On the second day of proceedings in Pretoria, Pistorius' defence team insisted claims by a neighbour that she heard a woman's screams after Steenkamp was shot would be thrown into doubt by expert evidence.

Neighbour Michelle Burger told the court she heard a woman screaming as shots were being fired in Pistorius' residence.

But Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux said: "We will debate the sequence of the bullets. We will have experts state that there was serious brain damage after the shot to the head, that it would not have been possible for her to scream at all."

Ms Burger replied: "As I said yesterday, I heard her voice just after the last shot. It could have been that it was as the last shot was fired."

The prosecution later said that had the head shot been the final shot, Ms Steenkamp could have screamed until then.

Mr Roux opened Tuesday's questioning by saying he wanted to focus on two aspects of Ms Burger, her "credibility and reliability".

Mr Roux has repeatedly attempted to establish that Ms Burger had already decided she did not believe Pistorius' account of the evening - that he believed there was an intruder in his home - when she gave her evidence contradicting his story.

Key witness

She is the prosecution's key witness, as her account of hearing a woman's screams suggests Pistorius would have known that it was his girlfriend rather than an intruder when he fired.

Later, Ms Burger's husband Charl Peter Johnson took to the witness stand.

He said: "We were under the impression that they were being held up in their house.

"I lay in bed thinking of how I can improve the security around my house. I fell asleep at about 4am.

"When I woke up I started measuring around the house. I went to work early around 6am and I remembered surfing on the web for security gates for costs."

Earlier, the trial was temporarily delayed after an image of the witness was used by a South African news organisation.

The trial is being televised, but witnesses can choose not to appear on camera.

Ms Burger did not want to be filmed or pictured, and the case was temporarily adjourned just before 8am after Judge Masipa was alerted to an image of the witness that had appeared in local media.

The judge said she viewed the error as "serious" and ordered an investigation.

You can follow proceedings throughout the trial on Sky News

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