Oscar Pistorius gives account of fatal shooting as court listens to bail application

Last Updated: 19/02/13 10:58pm

A court has heard for the first time Oscar Pistorius' version of events on the night he shot dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Paralympic star does not dispute firing four shots at Ms Steenkamp through the bathroom door at his Pretoria home, three of which hit and fatally wounded her.

But Pistorius denies the prosecution's charge of premeditated murder and says he mistook Ms Steenkamp for a burglar in the early hours of 14 February.

Desmond Nair, Magistrate at the bail hearing in Pretoria, told the defence team he had provisionally bracketed the case in the most serious 'schedule six' category covering premeditated murder.

The judge warned there was little chance of bail unless the defence could argue either for the charge to be downgraded or that there were exceptional circumstances for bail to be granted.

That prompted defence lawyer Barry Roux to read out a sworn affidavit from Pistorius in which he said he reacted in fear when he heard a noise after getting out of bed - without attaching his prosthetic legs - to fetch a fan and close a sliding door.

It was only after he had unloaded four shots and shouted for Ms Steenkamp to call police, he said, that he realised she may have been shot by mistake.

At that point, according to his statement, Pistorius attached his prosthetic legs and broke down the locked bathroom door with a cricket bat to find his girlfriend lying wounded.

Pistorius, who said his attempts to revive Ms Steenkamp failed and she died in his arms, also asked for bail to be granted and said he was an international sports star who had no intention of evading trial.

Four supportive statements - three from friends of Pistorius and one from a friend of the victim - were then read out by Roux, who had earlier asked the prosecution to provide details to support its charge of premeditated murder.

Prosecutor Garrie Nel said he would respond to the defence's request by Wednesday morning, when the second and final scheduled day of the hearing will begin at 7am GMT.

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