Oscar Pistorius trial: Day 17 review

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Oscar Pistoriusmurder trial entered its 17th day at the High Court in Pretoria, with the accused re-taking the stand to continue his evidence.

Mr Pistorius - a Paralympic star who became known globally as 'The Blade Runner' for his impressive track exploits - was first called to speak yesterday, during which time he apologised to the parents of deceased Reeva Steenkamp for the sorry incident that led to her death in February 2013.

On another emotional day in court, Mr Pistorius - who stands accused of the pre-meditated murder of Ms Steenkamp along with various weapons charges, all of which he denies - recounted the events of the fateful evening in question.

"I heard a noise from inside the toilet that I perceived to be somebody coming out. Before I knew it I had fired four shots at the door," he said.

"I think I hit the [toilet] door three times and there was a large plank [dislodged], I grabbed it with my hands and I threw it out into the bathroom.I leant over the middle partition, I tried to open the door from the key, but there was no key in the door and I leant over the middle partition of the door and I saw the key on the floor at that point.

"All I wanted to do was climb into the toilet over the middle part of the door.Whilst I leant over the partition to get in I saw the key so I took it and I unlocked the door. I flung the door open, I threw it open."

Also on day 17, double-amputee Mr Pistorius - who claims he was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time of the shooting - stood next to the bathroom door through which he fired the shots that killed Ms Steenkamp, both with and without them on.

The accused was also quizzed on the couple's relationship, with Mr Pistorius recounting the time they first met and also going on to deny that he had cheated on an ex-girlfriend after meeting Reeva.

More specifically, he also spoke of a text message - that formed a crucial part of the prosecution's case in the earlier trial - sent from Ms Steenkamp that detailed how she was 'scared' of Mr Pistorius, insisting that the couple had moved on from that unhappy spell.

After an exhausting day, the trial was adjourned in order to allow the accused to regain his composure.

"I sat over Reeva and cried. I don't know how long I was there for. She wasn't breathing," he recollected through tears before proceedings were eventually brought to a halt.

If found guilty of murder, Mr Pistorius could face life imprisonment. South Africa does not run a jury system, so the outcome will be ultimately be decided by judge Thokozile Masipa

The trial continues.

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