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Defence failed to prove Oscar screamed like a woman

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius's lawyers failed to prove that his screams sounded like a woman's when he was nervous, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.


Submitting his closing arguments, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the defence had put to witnesses that decibel tests were done which suggested that Pistorius’s screams could be mistaken for a woman’s.

“Why put it to a witness as a fact when you won’t prove it later?” Nel said.

The sound expert the defence had called had instead contradicted their argument.

The expert had told the court he could not distinguish between the screams of a man and a woman in tests.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet at his Pretoria home.

Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

Some of Pistorius’s neighbours have testified that they heard a woman’s blood-curdling screams on the morning Steenkamp was shot.

The defence has submitted that Pistorius was the one screaming as he called out to Steenkamp to call for the police.

The court heard that a screaming Pistorius also broke down the toilet door using a cricket bat.

Nel focused on the tests the defence did to prove the difference between the firing of a gun and the sound of a cricket bat hitting a door.

Nel argued that the court could not accept the tests the defence had performed as they had digitally manipulated the sound of the gunfire to make it sound rapid.

An expert who performed the tests said this was done because the gun would not fire rapidly.

Rapid gunfire was the manner in which Pistorius claimed he fired the shots on the morning Steenkamp died.

“With the utmost respect, that was just dishonest,” Nel said, referring to the sound manipulation.

“The court should not take that.”

Presiding Judge Thokozile Masipa also pointed out that the tests were done outside in an open area while the actual incident occurred indoors.

Nel told the court that in all his statements Pistorius had admitted to firing intentionally at the bathroom door.

“I fired shots at the door and shouted to Reeva to call the police,” Nel read from Pistorius’s statement.

In another statement Pistorius said: “I thought they were coming out and before I knew it, I fired four shots.”

Nel said that in none of the statements did Pistorius say the shooting was accidental, nor had he ever said he did not know what happened.

He said Pistorius had time to think before acting and this was clearly indicated in his statements.

The trial continues.

Sapa

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