The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is on trial for the murder of
29-year-old model and law graduate Steenkamp on Valentine's Day
He has pleaded not guilty to murder, saying he was deeply in love
with Steenkamp, who he had been dating for a few months, and that he
mistook her for an intruder hiding in a toilet at his luxury
However, text messages between the pair in the weeks leading up to
the shooting painted a picture of a volatile, stormy relationship,
with Steenkamp accusing Pistorius of continual jealousy and
outbursts of anger.
"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you
will react to me," one message sent by Steenkamp on January 27,
As police expert Francois Moller read out the messages to the court
on Day 14 of the trial, Pistorius sat in the dock, his head buried
in his hands.
"We are living in a double standard relationship. Every five seconds
I hear about how you dated another chick. You really have dated a
lot of people yet you get upset if I mention one funny story with a
long-term boyfriend," the Steenkamp message continued.
"You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing
together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill
Moller said he had analyzed thousands of mobile phone messages sent
between the couple and found 90 percent of them to be normal, often
However, another exchange backed up the testimony of an earlier
witness who said the 27-year-old athlete fired a pistol under a
table in a packed Johannesburg restaurant and then asked his friend
to take the blame.
"Angel please don't say a thing to anyone. Darren told everyone it
was his fault. I can't afford for that to come out. The guys
promised not to say a thing," the message sent by Pistorius on
January 11, the day of the incident, said.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Steenkamp replied,
ending the message with a smiley face.
The court adjourned for the day before Moller concluded his
evidence, leaving the gallery waiting for messages between the
couple in the days and hours before the killing.
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Prosecutors are seeking to prove Pistorius tried to kill Steenkamp
deliberately by firing four rounds from a 9 mm pistol through a
locked toilet door after a heated argument.
Throughout the trial, they have tried to portray him as a
gun-obsessed hot-head, who also fired a handgun through the open
sun-roof of a car after an argument with a policeman.
The state is expected to wrap up its case this week, although a slew
of defense witnesses waiting in the wings suggests the trial is
likely to run into May.
The delays and extra expenses have forced Pistorius to sell the
luxury Pretoria home in which he killed Steenkamp so he can pay his
mounting legal fees.
Pistorius' lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on to
achieve global fame as the "fastest man on no legs", running on
carbon-fibre prosthetic limbs to win gold medals at the Beijing and
Nicknamed the "Blade Runner", he also won a battle against athletics
authorities for the right to compete against able-bodied men,
becoming the first amputee runner at an Olympics when he reached the
400 meters semi-finals at London 2012.
His sporting feats and good looks made him one of the world's most
marketable athletes, but lucrative deals with brands such as Nike and eyewear maker Oakley were dropped when murder charges were brought
(Writing by Joe Brock; editing by Ed Cropley and Alison Williams)
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