Pistorius' neighbours 'heard non-stop shouting'

Feb 21, 2013, 08:29 IST | AFP

Senior investigating officer Hilton Botha says Pistorius' neighbours claimed to have heard people talking loudly at the Blade Runner's house minutes before hearing gunshots and screaming

Witnesses claimed hearing arguing, a woman screaming and gunfire at the house of “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius the night he shot dead his model girlfriend, police told a South African court yesterday.

Pistorius’s defence team undermined the reliability of the claims as the South African sporting hero sought bail for the Valentine’s Day killing that he insists was a horrible accident and not intentional, as prosecutors aim to prove.

Oscar Pistorius appears in court in Pretoria yesterday. Pic/AFP

Police also said Pistorius had previously been arrested at his Pretoria home for assault, although he was not charged, and faced further charges of possessing an unlicenced gun.

A woman who lives in the same highly secured Pretoria complex as Pistorius “heard talking that sounded like non-stop fighting from two to three in the morning”, hours before she was killed, Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

Another witness reported hearing gunshots, screams and then more shots, police said.

“We have the statement of a person who said after he heard gunshots, he went to his balcony and saw the light was on. Then he heard a female screaming two-three times, then more gunshots,” Detective Hilton Botha said.

But Pistorius’s legal team disputed these accounts as police said the witnesses were 300 metres (660 feet) from the house.

And the prosecution, which wants to prove that the Paralympian had deliberately planned to kill Steenkamp, was forced to admit that Pistorius’ claim that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder matched the crime scene.

“It sounds consistent,” Botha said.

Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, was shot three times through the bathroom door early on February 14, with wounds to her head, elbow and hip.

She was declared to have died later by medics who found her covered in bloodied towels and wearing white shorts and a black vest.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the Olympics in London last year, says he shot her by mistake through a locked bathroom door, believing she was a burglar.

Testosterone found
Police searching the home of Pistorius found testosterone and needles in a dresser in his bedroom, an investigator told.

Botha said the substance was found by police investigating the killing of Pistorius’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day.

“We found two boxes of testosterone and needles and injections,” Botha said.

Testosterone is on the list of substances banned by the International Olympic Committee.

Pistorius dope-tested twice at Games
Oscar Pistorius was drug-tested before and during last year’s Paralympic Games in London, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said yesterday, adding that on both occasions the results were negative.

“Oscar was tested twice in London. First on August 25 in an out of comp (competition) test and then also September 8 in an in comp test. Both negative,” IPC director of media and communications Craig Spence said in emailed comments to AFP.

“He’ll also have been tested by IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) and South African anti doping agency last year,” he added. 

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