Pistorius 'shot model through door'

The Bolton News: Oscar Pistorius' appearance at a Pretoria Magistrates' Court is on the same day as Reeva Steenkamp's funeral Oscar Pistorius' appearance at a Pretoria Magistrates' Court is on the same day as Reeva Steenkamp's funeral

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius shot dead his model girlfriend through a closed bathroom door, a court has heard.

The gold-medal winner, known as the Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs, appeared in a South African court for his second appearance over the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the hearing that Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp four times inside his Pretoria home on Thursday. Pistorius, 26, was formally charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend.

Mr Nel said the victim arrived at the house between 5pm and 6pm the night before she was killed at 3am. He said she was locked inside the small bathroom and was unarmed. The prosecutor also said the athlete, who broke down in tears during the hearing, had not provided investigators with his own version of what happened.

Barry Roux, defending, said Ms Steenkamp was not murdered, and there were a number of cases where men have shot members of their own family through doors after mistaking them for burglars. He also suggested that Pistorius broke the bathroom door down to help Ms Steenkamp after the shooting.

Prosecutors told the bail hearing that Pistorius had put on his prosthetic legs and walked 23ft (7m) to the bathroom before firing his gun. After the shooting he informed his sister that he thought Ms Steenkamp, 29, was an intruder, the court heard.

Mr Nel said the killing was premeditated because the defendant planned to say that he thought he was shooting an intruder. He added: "It was all part of the pre-planning. Why would a burglar lock himself inside the bathroom?" But Mr Roux said: "We submit it is not even murder. There is no concession this is a murder."

Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled that, for the purpose of the bail hearing, the case was a schedule six offence - meaning premeditated murder - rather than the less serious schedule five.

Mr Nel told the court that Ms Steenkamp went into the bathroom after the couple had been arguing. He said Pistorius then got up from his bed and fired four shots, hitting her three times. Pistorius sobbed as Mr Roux claimed her death was an accident.

The court appearance comes on the same day as Ms Steenkamp's funeral, after her body was returned to her home town of Port Elizabeth.

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