Ex-girlfriend fronts Pistorius' trial
Day five of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial is characterised by testimony from his ex-girlfriend who says the Paralympic track star carried a gun with him "all the time".PT1M47S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-34djh 620 349 March 8, 2014
Minutes after shooting dead his model girlfriend through a locked toilet door, Oscar Pistorius allegedly told a housing estate security guard: "everything is fine".
The Blade Runner’s murder trial concluded its first week on Friday with evidence from Pieter Baba, who was on duty at the Silver Woods Estate the night Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Earlier on Friday, one of the Olympian’s ex-girlfriends had told the High Court of his recklessness with guns, and sobbed as she told how their relationship ended when he began seeing Ms Steenkamp.
Reliving the moment ... Oscar Pistorius puts his hand to his face as he listens to cross examination of witnesses about the events surrounding the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day, 2013. Photo: AP Photo
Speaking through an Afrikaans interpreter, Mr Baba said he was alerted to the sound of gunshots from neighbours of the Olympian, and drove in the direction of Pistorius’ house.
When he arrived there, he called Pistorius on his mobile phone.
"Pistorius told me, "security, everything is fine," he told the court in English.
Attacking the accounts of witnesses ... Barry Roux, legal representative for Oscar Pistorius. Photo: AP Photo
A short time after the call ended, Pistorius phoned him back.
"That’s when I realised he was crying," Mr Baba said.
Seconds later, the estate manager Johan Stander arrived.
Aimee Pistorius (R), the sister of Oscar Pistorius, reacts during the fifth day of the South African paralympic athlete's murder trial. Photo: AFP
Mr Baba told Judge Thokozile Masipa he then saw Mr Pistorius carrying the body of his girlfriend down the stairs.
"My lady, I was so shocked I couldn’t even think for a few minutes," he said.
"I got such a fright seeing Oscar carrying Reeva down (from the top floor) after he had told me everything was fine."
Emotional week ... Oscar Pistorius, right, leaves the high court after the fifth day of his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: AP Photo
Barry Roux, for Pistorius, later queried if his client hadn’t actually said "I am okay" rather than "everything" was okay.
But again using English words, Mr Baba said Pistorius said: "Everything is fine."
The dramatic testimony rounded out an emotional week for both Ms Steenkamp’s family and Team Pistorius.
The court heard from several witnesses who claim to have heard dramatic screams and shouts resembling an argument before a volley of shots were fired in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.
The young model and TV starlet was struck by three of four rounds fired by Pistorius from a 9mm pistol in an upstairs bathroom in his luxury Pretoria home.
The 27-year-old denies the murder, saying it was a tragic accident and that he mistook her for an intruder.
The state’s eighth witness was Samatha Taylor, a diminutive and softly spoken blonde woman who began dating the internationally acclaimed athlete when she was 17.
She required two brief adjournments to compose herself after bursting into tears while talking about their relationship breakdown.
Ms Taylor said she was "very, very upset" when her relationship with Pistorius ended in November 2012, after the athlete took Ms Steenkamp to a sports awards ceremony.
She conceded while there had been "a lot of commotion" in her relationship with Pistorius, but said they had not "officially" broken up at that time.
She described November as the breakup "when he cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp."
The sports awards to which she referred are widely believed to be the start of the courtship between Pistorius and Steenkamp.
There had been an earlier breakup when the athletics champion had "gone on a date with (a woman called) Anastasia".
Taylor told the court she met Pistorius at a rugby game in 2010, and started dating him the following year.
She said he had contacted her via Facebook after their first meeting, and their relationship began over social media.
Ms Taylor, who was comforted by her sister during breaks in evidence, told the court the athlete once woke her up in the middle of the night thinking there was an intruder in his home.
Pistorius asked her if she had heard a sound also, Ms Taylor said, before grabbing his pistol and leaving the bedroom to investigate.
Her account about the earlier incident is similar to what Pistorius claims occurred on Valentine's Day 2013, before he fired the fatal shots at Reeva Steenkamp.
But on Valentine's Day 2013 he had clearly not woken Ms Steenkamp in similar circumstances, because if he tried to he would have realised she was not in the bed beside him.
Ms Taylor said on the night she experienced, Pistorius woke her up and asked if she had heard a sound.
"I said it must have just been the storm, because there was a storm that night," she said.
"He got up with his gun and walked out of the room … I didn’t hear what was going on outside the room."
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel emphasised the point of his question: "He woke you up?"
"Yes, he woke me up. There was probably one or two other occasions when he woke me up (in similar circumstances)," Ms Taylor replied.
The young woman, whose image is suppressed by the court, also detailed an incident in which the athlete fired a shot through an open sunroof while they driving around South Africa.
This was done partly in anger after police had pulled them over for speeding, but also he had "laughed" about it afterwards, she said.
She did not agree with suggestions from Mr Roux that Pistorius was "very scared" of being attacked.
"The fact that he carried a gun for safety reasons means that he was aware of what he could face, but I don’t think he was scared," she said.
Ms Taylor testified to Pistorius always sleeping with his personal phone beside his bed, and said "every single time" she stayed at his house he would use his phone during the night to send messages.
She denied questions from Mr Roux that it was she who cheated on the double amputee runner during a "break" in their relationship.
The case resumes on Monday morning.