'Non-stop' shouting heard from Pistorius' home
Updated: Wednesday, 20 Feb 2013 23:11
A bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius has been told that a witness heard "non-stop shouting" coming from his home shortly before his girlfriend was shot dead.
The South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter has denied murdering Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February at his home in Pretoria.
The 30-year-old model and law graduate was shot in the head, arm and hip.
After four hours of testimony, the hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the prosecution team has a witness who heard the shooting between 2am and 3am that morning.
The witness heard a gunshot, followed by screams and then more shots.
A police investigator said he wants to also charge Mr Pistorius with a weapons law violation after unlicenced .38 calibre ammunition was found in his home.
In an affidavit read to the court yesterday by his lawyer Barry Roux, Mr Pistorius said he had been "deeply in love" with Ms Steenkamp and had no intention of killing her.
Ms Steenkamp was in a locked toilet adjoining Mr Pistorius' bathroom when she was shot in the early hours of last Thursday.
Warrant officer Hilton Botha said the angle at which the shots were fired through the door suggested the shooter had aimed specifically to hit somebody on the toilet.
The detective said he arrived at the scene at 4.15am local time (2.15am Irish time) to find Ms Steenkamp dead at the bottom of the stairs.
He also said police had found unlicensed ammunition in the house in an upmarket gated compound north of Pretoria.
Mr Botha said two containers of testosterone and needles were also found in Mr Pistorius' bedroom.
Mr Roux said it was not testosterone, but a legal herbal remedy that was discovered in his client's bedroom.
In his cross-examination of the warrant officer, Mr Roux said a post mortem examination showed Ms Steenkamp's bladder was empty, which he said was consistent with her getting up at 3am to go to the toilet.
Mr Roux asked repeatedly why the police did not make simple checks, such as the lighting and whether Mr Pistorius had other phones.
The lawyer said Mr Pistorius phoned the housing complex manager for help at 3.19am, then Netcare hospital a minute later.
Mr Roux said the police discarded anything that might have been consistent with a defence.
Officers found the victim covered in towels and wearing white shorts and a black top.
In yesterday's affidavit, Mr Pistorius said he used to sleep with a 9mm pistol under his bed and had grabbed it when he awoke in the middle of the night thinking an intruder had climbed through his bathroom window and entered the toilet.
The 26-year-old then described how he fired into the door in a blind panic, in the belief the intruder was lurking in the toilet.
He said he and Ms Steenkamp had been asleep in bed before he woke up.
In contrast, Mr Nel painted a picture of a premeditated killing, a crime that carries a life sentence in South Africa.
"If I arm myself, walk a distance and murder a person, that is premeditated," he told the packed courtroom yesterday.
The bail hearing is expected to conclude this week, after the defence and prosecution have outlined their central arguments.
It may then be several months before a trial.