‘I’m sorry’: Oscar Pistorius Weeps In Witness Stand, Apologises To Girlfriend’s Parents...

‘I’m sorry’: Oscar Pistorius Weeps In Witness Stand, Apologises To Girlfriend’s Parents For Shooting Her (PHOTOS)

By Daily Mail Online on April 7, 2014
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photos oscar pistorius
Oscar Pistorius, puts a handkerchief to his face while listening to cross questioning about the events surrounding the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, March 7, 2014. | AP/Theana Breugem

Oscar Pistorius broke down in the witness box today as he apologised to Reeva Steekamp’s parents for shooting her dead at the start of his long-anticipated testimony at his murder trial.

With his voice trembling and at times inaudible, the Paralympian addressed the model’s mother, June, in the court, telling her: ‘I was simply trying to protect Reeva’.

He said: ‘There hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family.

‘I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of. The first people I pray for.

‘I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I’ve caused you and your family.

South African Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius wipes his face during his trial in Court in Pretoria
Strain: The amputee buries his head in his hands as the court hears evidence of Miss Steenkamp’s injuries
Grieving: Miss Steenkamp's mother, June, (back right with glasses) watches on from the public gallery as Pistorius sits in the dock (front) during the trialGrieving: Miss Steenkamp’s mother, June, (back right with glasses) watches on from the public gallery as Pistorius sits in the dock (front) during the trial

Isolated: Oscar Pistorius has cut a lonely figure since his trial started on March 3, saying little since his 'not guilty' plea besides the occasional 'yes, milady' to Judge Thokozile Masipa
Reeva Steenkamp's mother June

‘I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of’: A trembling Pistorius apologised to Mrs Steenkamp (down) and her family for killing Miss Steenkamp at the start of his evidence.

‘I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise you that when she went to bed that night she felt loved.

‘I have tried to put my words on paper many times to write to you but no words would ever suffice.’

Pistorius said he is taking anti-depressant medicine and that he has sometimes woken up in terror and suffering panic attacks.

He told the court: ‘I’m scared to sleep. I can smell blood and wake up terrified.’

He described one episode in which he woke up in a panic.

‘I climbed into a cupboard and I phoned my sister to come and sit by me, which she did for a while,’ he said.

‘I’m just in a complete state of terror,’ he said. ‘I fall asleep and wake up like that.’

Tough testimony: Pistorius (back right) covers his eyes as prosecutor Gerrie Nel (front )cross-examines pathologist Jan Botha about a wound on Reeva Steenkamp's back, which is shown on monitors in courtTough testimony: Pistorius (back right) covers his eyes as prosecutor Gerrie Nel (front )cross-examines pathologist Jan Botha about a wound on Reeva Steenkamp’s back, which is shown on monitors in court.

Graphic: Pistorius covers his ears as the court hears details of Miss Steenkamp's bullet wound to the hip, shown above on monitors in the court roomGraphic: Pistorius covers his ears as the court hears details of Miss Steenkamp’s bullet wound to the hip, shown above on monitors in the court room.

Fatal shooting: The court is shown a close-up image of the bullet wound to Miss Steenkamp's hipFatal shooting: The court is shown a close-up image of the bullet wound to Miss Steenkamp’s hip. 

The amputee runner is accused of killing Miss Steenkamp deliberately by firing four rounds from a 9mm pistol through a locked toilet door after an argument.

The track star has pleaded not guilty to her murder, saying he mistook the 29-year-old law graduate for an intruder hiding in the toilet at his luxury Pretoria home.

Earlier, the Paralympian was overcome with emotion during graphic forensic testimony about the death of the model from the first witness called by the defence.

He sobbed loudly and threw up into a bucket as had happened during previous sessions last month when the court heard details of Steenkamp’s autopsy and reviewed pictures of the blood-stained toilet and bathroom.

 

The Paralympian wept court before his defence team opened its case today, calling Prof Botha in an effort to cast doubt on the prosecution’s assertion that the model ate no more than two hours before the runner killed her.

The evidence from Prof Botha is critical to the defence because Pistorius has claimed the couple were in his bedroom by 10pm on the night of the shooting.

Any indication that they were awake much later could undermine the Olympian’s account of the sequence of events.

Prof Botha told the High Court in Pretoria that the timeframe of digestion was difficult to assess because of variations in many factors, including the volume of food consumed, its calorie content and the psychology of the person who was eating.

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