Friday, February 15, 2013


Breakdown: Oscar Pistorius wept uncontrollably in court as the charge was read out
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius wept uncontrollably in the dock as his charge for the murder of model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was read out.

He seemed to break down during the hearing, almost bent over double, sobbing and shaking.

The judge mentioned premeditated murder, which is a more serious charge and Pistorius will be kept at Brookyln police station until Tuesday or Wednesday, when he has his 'application for bail' hearing.

The South African Olympics and Paralympic star arrived at the Pretoria Magistrates Court in the back of a police vehicle, hiding his face with a jacket and a notepad.

Pistorius arrived at court not wearing a belt or tie - they were carried in for him by somebody else.

It has been claimed that 29-year-old FHM model Steenkamp was shot four times through a bathroom door at Pistorius's home.

A 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene.

In court his father, Henke, leaned forward and placed a hand on the runner's back as he sobbed.

Pistorius's advocate said his client was in an 'extreme traumatised state of mind' and does not want the trial televised. The court agreed and it will not be shown.

Filming and photography is allowed in court before the session starts. Audio recording of the judgement will be permitted.

As well as his father, the 26-year-old's brother Carl and sister Aimee are in the front row in a heaving court room. Henke said Pistorius was 'sad' following the shooting.

He told SABC radio news: 'I don't know the facts. If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be Oscar. He's sad at the moment.'

The couple had been dubbed the Posh and Becks of South Africa.

Incident: Pistorius is believed to have shot dead his girlfriend Steenkamp, 29, a former FHM model, pictured together on January 26 in Johannesburg
The defence is expected to argue that gold-medallist Pistorius is not a flight risk and should be bailed.

The hearing came after a two-hour delay while Pistorius' lawyers objected to the scrum of local and international reporters packed into the courtroom.

Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair told him: 'Take it easy. Come take a seat.'
Forensic experts are expected to continue examining the house in the upmarket Silver Woods gated community.

Court officials tried to get people in court to turn their phones off - thereby preventing tweeting - but the order was relaxed.

Near the home, people who knew Pistorius recalled a much-loved local hero.

Star: Oscar Pistorius has reportedly been arrested this morning having shot his girlfriend in the head and arm, killing her
'Some of us were in tears,' said Precious, who works at a petrol station where Pistorius used to fill up his McLaren supercar, signing autographs and picking up the tab for people in the convenience store.

'He was just so kind to everyone,' Precious said.

Initial reports suggested the model may have been mistaken for a burglar, but Brigadier Denise Beukes later said police were 'very surprised' by that suggestion, adding: 'These allegations did not come from us.'

There had been previous incidents of a 'domestic nature' at the property on the exclusive, gated Silver Lakes Golf Estate in the South African capital Pretoria, she added. A 9mm pistol was recovered.

Police spokeswoman Lt Col Katlego Mogale said: 'Paramedics declared the woman dead on the scene and police proceeded with their investigation.

'The woman sustained wounds to her head and the upper body.'
Police said an application for bail by Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwage would be opposed when he appears in court.

Dressed in a grey hooded jacket, tracksuit trousers and trainers, Pistorius walked with head bowed from the Boschkop police station yesterday before being taken to Pretoria's Mamelodi Day Hospital in a police convoy.

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