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Oscar Pistorius breaks down in court in day two of his trial

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Oscar Pistorius broke down in court today as his defense lawyer argued that Reeva Steenkamp was so badly brain damaged by the gunshot to her head she couldn't possibly have screamed.

Advocate Barry Roux made the claims in response to a neighbour's testimony that she heard a woman's screams after shots were fired on the night the model was killed.

He told the court: 'We will have experts state that there was serious brain damage after the shot to the head, that it would not have been possible for her to scream at all. With the head shot, she would have dropped down immediately.'

The Paralympian was seen bent double in the dock, with his hands behind his head, as the court heard details of the bullets hitting Miss Steenkamp and the removal of fragments from her head during the post mortem.

A relative handed him a handkerchief which he used to wipe tears from his eyes.

Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel interjected to say it was the last of four shots that struck Steenkamp's head, the first two hitting her right side, the wall and her shoulder.

Mr Roux's comments came during fierce cross-examination of one of the state's key witnesses, Michell Burger, a university lecturer who lives near the athlete's Pretoria home.
Ms Burger replied: 'As I said yesterday, I heard her voice just after the last shot. It could have been that it was at the last shot was fired.'

Her account was backed up by her husband, Charl Johnson, who said he also heard a woman's screams before and after gunshots.
He said: 'We were under the impression someone had been attacked in their house in a very secure complex.
'I remember during the succession of shots I heard a lady scream again and shortly after the last shot.'  

The sprinter's defence had earlier come under further attack by another neighbour, Estelle van der Merwe, who lives less than 100 metres away, told the court she heard arguing coming from Pistorius's home that night.
'I woke up the morning at 1.56am to sounds of someone talking loudly and fighting,' she told the court. 'It lasted about an hour.'

In an emotive second day of the murder trial, Ms Burger wept in the witness stand as she told how she was still haunted by the screams she heard that night.
'When I'm in the shower, I relive her shouts. The terrifying screams,' she told the North Gauteng High Court.

Ms Burger, who faced a second day of questioning, has testified to a sequence of events on the night of February 14 last year which contradicts the athlete's story.

She told yesterday that she heard 'blood-curdling' screams from a woman before, during and after shots rang out in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

The sequence of events, if accurate, would undermine the Paralympic gold medallist's claim that he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.

Culled from UK Daily Mail

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