Reeva locked door out of fear – Pistorius
Reeva Steenkamp probably acted out of fear when she locked the toilet door she was shot through, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.
FILE PICTURE: Investigating officer Captain Mike van Aardt gets asked by prosecutor Gerrie Nel to demonstrate the opening and closing of the door through which Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed at the murder trial of paralympian Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, Monday, 14 April 2014. Picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Newspapers Ltd/Pool
“I thought Reeva could have heard me screaming, got scared and locked the door,” Pistorius testified.
He was being cross-examined by prosecutor Gerrie Nel on possible reasons for Steenkamp locking the door.
Pistorius earlier told the court he called out to her to call the police, shortly after shooting into the toilet.
He has been charged with murdering Steenkamp when he shot her dead through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.
He has denied guilt, saying he mistook her for an intruder.
Pistorius said he thought an intruder could have entered his home using a ladder left outside his bathroom window.
After hearing the toilet door slam shut, he had shot into the toilet cubicle, he said.
Nel asked why Pistorius did not check whether anyone was still on the ladder.
“I didn’t think Reeva would have climbed out [using] the ladder,” said Pistorius, almost in tears.
He said he checked the bed and behind the curtains for Steenkamp after the shooting,
Asked what happened after he figured out that Steenkamp could have been the one behind the bathroom door, Pistorius said he ran to check on the balcony but quickly changed to say he went on the balcony to scream for help.
“Why did you say you checked the balcony,” Nel asked him.
“I meant to say I ran out to the balcony,” said Pistorius in response.
“I made a mistake, my lady. I went to the balcony to scream for help.”
Nel continued to press on, asking Pistorius why he would make such a mistake.
Speaking louder and seemingly agitated, Pistorius said: “There’s no weight on what I said… It supports what Mr Nel is saying.”
Nel said this proved that Pistorius tailored evidence as he went along.
Asked whether he still had hope that Steenkamp had perhaps fled the bedroom after hearing there was intruder in the house, Pistorius said “yes”.
Court was adjourned and was scheduled to resume on Tuesday morning.
Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public.
He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.
On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.
He has also denied guilt on these three charges.