Oscar Pistorius back in court for murder bail application as funeral held for Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius 'attached his legs, walked seven metres and shot four times': Paralympic star back in court for murder bail hearing as funeral held for girlfriend Steenkamp

PUBLISHED:

06:41 GMT, 19 February 2013

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UPDATED:

09:53 GMT, 19 February 2013

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

A tearful Pistorius, 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 Steenkamp four times inside his Pretoria home on Thursday.

Pistorius, 26, was formally charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend.

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Oscar Pistorius, centre with head covered, leaves the Brooklyn Police Station on his way to court hearing on Tuesday

Bail hearing: Oscar Pistorius, centre with head covered, in a police car on his way to court on Tuesday

Solemn: Pallbearers carry the coffin of Reeva Steenkamp into the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Solemn: Pallbearers carry the coffin of Reeva Steenkamp into the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Emotional: Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva (second left), arrives at the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Emotional: Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva (second left), arrives at the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Respects: Springboks rugby star Francois Hougaard arrives for the memorial service

Memorial: Springboks rugby star Francois Hougaard arrives for the service

VIDEO She was good & strong. Reeva's brother remembers her ahead of funeral

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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.

'She couldn't go anywhere. You can run nowhere,' said Mr Nel.

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.

The charge was made as Steenkamp's
body was being driven to a church for a memorial service in the
south-coast city of Port Elizabeth. The family said members have
gathered from around the world.

Pistorius uncovered

When Sportsmail's award-winning photographer Andy Hooper was invited into the home of Oscar Pistorius

Laura Williamson: It might all be finished for Pistorius but the Paralympic movement will survive

Pistorius' arrest triggered shock
across the globe and prompted rumours that he might have mistaken his
girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been a Valentine's Day
surprise gone wrong.

But police swiftly distanced
themselves from that suggestion and said there had been previous
incidents of a 'domestic nature' at Pistorius' house.

His family has vowed to fight the murder charge in the 'strongest terms'.

Pistorius's management company has
issued a statement announcing it had 'no option' but to cancel all
future races the double amputee was contracted to compete in.

Managing agent Peet Van Zyl said the athlete's 'key focus is defending himself against this serious charge'.

Pistorius, who won two gold medals
and a silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, was contracted to
compete in the Manchester City Games on May 25, following Qantas Tour
races in Australia on March 9 and 16 and meetings in Rio de Janeiro
(March 31) and Iowa (April 26).

Video: Pistorius arrives at court

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Journalists watched Pistorius, head
covered with a hoodie, leave the police station and arrive at the back
entrance to the courthouse in Pretoria, before 7am.

Pistorius' brother Carl and longtime
track coach Ampie Louw – the man who convinced Pistorius to take up
athletics – were also in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court building,
pointing out friends of the family that should be allowed in. Queue of
dozens of people waited to go in that public entrance.

Pistorius
was remanded in custody after a hearing on Friday at which prosecutors
said they intended to pursue a case of premeditated murder against the
athlete – which means he could face a life sentence.

And
they are set to strongly oppose a bid by Pistorius' legal team for the
Paralympic athlete to be granted bail at a court hearing.

Breakdown: Oscar Pistorius wept uncontrollably in court as the charge was read out

Shocking: Oscar Pistorius was charged with murdering his girlfriend on Valentine's Day at his Pretoria home

Grisly scenes: A graphic cartoon strip has been published depicting the last moments before Oscar Pistorius allegedly shot his girlfriend dead

Grisly scenes: A graphic cartoon strip has been published depicting the last moments before Oscar Pistorius allegedly shot his girlfriend dead

Home: Neighbours of the athlete say they heard noise from the house (pictured today) just before the authorities arrived

Concern: Police say that there had been previous incidents of a 'domestic nature' at Pistorius's property

Police
swiftly distanced themselves from an initial suggestion that Pistorius
may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been
a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong.

They added that there had been previous incidents of a 'domestic nature' at Pistorius's property.
His family has vowed to fight the murder charge in the 'strongest terms'.

Pistorius's best friend claimed the
sports star called him minutes after the shooting telling him 'there has
been a terrible accident', according to the Sunday People.

Justin Divaris said: 'It's all very sad. Oscar called me at 3.55am saying that Reeva had been shot.
It was very traumatic. By the time we got there it was already a crime scene and we weren't allowed in the house.'

Pistorius's father said he had 'zero doubt' Miss Steenkamp's death was a
tragic accident and that his son may have acted 'on instinct'.

Henke Pistorius said he believed the model was killed after being mistaken for an intruder at his son's house.

Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Support: Pistorius's father said he had 'zero doubt' Miss Steenkamp's death was a
tragic accident

The funeral of Reeva Steenkamp also takes place today

The funeral of Reeva Steenkamp also takes place today

He said: 'When you are a sportsman, you act even more on instinct.

'It's instinct – things happen and that's what you do.'

Meanwhile Steenkamp's mother has paid tribute to her daughter, describing her as the 'most beautiful person who ever lived.'

Mrs Steenkamp told South African newspaper The Times: 'She loved like no one else could love.

'She had so much of herself to give and now all of it is gone. Just like
that, she is gone … In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the
most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.

'All we have is this horrendous death to deal with … to get to grips
with. All we want are answers … answers as to why this had to happen,
why our beautiful daughter had to die like this.'