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Judge rejects Oscar's claim that he didn't think he could kill

11 September 2014, 13:38

Pretoria - The claim by murder accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius that he did not think he could kill someone was rejected by Judge Thokozile Masipa in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

"This assertion is inconsistent with someone who shot without thinking," she read from her judgment.

"I shall revert to this later."

She was referring to Pistorius's evidence that "he never thought he could kill someone in the toilet", and that this only occurred to him after Reeva Steenkamp had died.

She was summarising Pistorius's evidence. She read extracts from what he had told the court: "He did not have time to think", "he fired shots at the door but did not do so deliberately" and "he did not aim at the door but the firearm was pointed at the door".

Masipa said Pistorius had told the court he was not ready to discharge his gun. However the safety catch on his gun was off.

Pistorius, 27, is accused of murdering Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on Valentine's Day last year.

Sounds witnesses heard

Masipa said earlier it was clear the sounds most of the witnesses heard were Pistorius using his cricket bat to break down his toilet door to get to a dying Steenkamp, and not the shots he fired.

"It is clear from the rest of the evidence that these were actually the sound of the cricket bat against the door," she said.

Defence witness and Pistorius's immediate neighbour Eontle Hillary Nhlengethwa said she was woken by a man screaming, but did not hear shots fired.

Masipa said witnesses heard three loud bangs, which was from the cricket bat, and this was "consistent with the version" of Pistorius.

Also read: Trial end approaches for Oscar Pistorius

She rejected evidence from Pistorius's neighbour Estelle van der Merwe.

The court could not link what she had heard in the early hours of 14 February last year to the events at Pistorius's home.



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