Messages reveal love and fear of Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius with the late Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Getty
Oscar Pistorius with the late Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Getty
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Oscar Pistorius’s lawyer has sought to show the athlete had a loving relationship with the girlfriend he killed, referring to telephone messages in which they said they missed each other.

The testimony contrasted with messages read out in court on Monday in which Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp argued.

In those messages, Steenkamp told the double-amputee runner he sometimes scared her with his jealous outbursts.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux said the tense messages were a tiny fraction of roughly 1,700 police expert Captain François Moller extracted from the couple’s phones and other devices.

Mr Roux noted an exchange from 19 January 2013 in which Ms Steenkamp sent Pistorius a photo of herself in a hoodie and making a kissing face, followed by the message: “You like it?”

“I love it,” Pistorius replied.

“So warm,”she responded.

Mr Roux also showed a CCTV video of Pistorius and Steenkamp kissing in a shop.

He asked Mr Moller to read a message from 9 January from Ms Steenkamp to Pistorius. It read: “You are a very special person. You deserve to be looked after.”

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned the relevance of the shop video, saying he could ask for a court viewing of another video that shows Pistorius at a gun range, firing a shotgun and using a pistol to shoot a watermelon, which bursts on impact.

Mr Nel also said the many messages of affection between the couple were brief, in contrast to the texted arguments, which were far longer and dwelled on their relationship in greater depth. Earlier, Mr Moller said Steenkamp connected to the internet on her mobile hours before Pistorius killed her.

She made the connection just before 9pm on 13 February last year, and the connection lasted for more than 11 hours, possibly because social media programmes were still open.

Pistorius shot her just after 3am on Valentine’s Day through a closed toilet door in his home.

The phone records also show Pistorius made a frantic series of calls after the shooting. He called the housing estate administrator, then a minute later the ambulance service and a minute after that estate security.

Police analysis also showed that a five-minute internet connection was made on Pistorius’s telephone from 1.48am on 14 February, a little over an hour before he killed Steenkamp.

Prosecutors allege he killed Steenkamp after a row. He says he killed her by accident, mistaking her for an intruder.