Oscar Pistorius trial: Day four review

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Oscar Pistorius returned to court for day four of his trial in Pretoria today, with the athlete appearing to become extremely emotional during the rather graphic testimony of neighbour Doctor Johan Stipp.

Stipp took to the stand and recounted how he and his wife had been awoken by "what sounded like gunshots".

"I was awoken by three loud bangs. My wife said ‘what was that?’ And I said ‘I think it’s gunshots.’ I went out on to the balcony and heard screams, and it sounded to me like a woman. And I thought, ‘there’s trouble here.’ And I called security," he said.

"I then heard another three loud bangs. I thought it was someone shooting again. I thought if there was shooting going on, some of the bullets might come our way, so I warned my wife to get out of harm’s way."

Stipp later spoke of how he reportedly later found Pistorius - who stands accused of the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 - kneeling beside her body.

"I shot her," Pistorius supposedly told him. "I thought she was a burglar."

"Oscar was crying all the time,'' Dr Stipp continued. "He was praying to God [saying] "Please let her live."

The testimony from Stipp also featured his descriptions of the injuries sustained by Ms Steenkamp.

"She had no pulse in her neck. She had no peripheral pulse. There  weren’t any signs of life that I had seen. It was obvious to me that she was mortally wounded," he said - during which time Pistorius appeared to cover his ears.

The subject of those aforementioned screams has been in focus throughout the trial so far and during the cross-examination, Pistorius' defence lawyer Barry Roux - after consulting with specialists and the autopsy report - was clearly keen to suggest that due to the injuries sustained by Ms Steenkamp, it couldn't possibly have been her that was heard screaming.

"That person after the shots would not have been able to scream. That person would be
nonresponsive, does that make sense to you as a medical doctor?" he asked the witness.

"It does," Dr Stipp replied.

Earlier in the day, Roux had again quizzed another neighbour in Charl Johnson, with the defence seemingly wanting to retrieve notes that he had made in the weeks after the sorry incident and question him regarding the discrepancies between the two accounts.

It was certainly an eventful and tiring day at Pretoria's High Court, with a child also apparently trying to get a photo with Pistorius.

Mr Pistorius - who rose to global fame as a Paralympic gold medal sprinter - denies all charges against him. As South Africa do not have a jury system, it will be up to the judge to decide his fate.

The trial continues.

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