Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius's full court statement has been released to the public.
Pistorius, who was accused of murdering model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last week, has insisted he shot her because he had mistaken her for an intruder. However, prosecutors believe that the attack was premeditated, with him firing through a locked bathroom door.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that the double amputee had got out of bed on the morning of February 14th, put on his protheses and shot Steenkamp through the locked door with his pistol four times, three of which hit her and resulted in her death. He then said the gold medallist had broken down the door with a cricket bat, before carrying her body downstairs.
However, Pistorius denies that he murdered Steenkamp, insisting that he had "no intention" of killing her and that the pair were "deeply in love".
The following are key excerpts from Pistorius's court statement.
"The purpose of this affidavit is to provide the above Honourable Court with my personal circumstances and to address the allegations levelled against me (in so far as they are known to me).
"I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp (“Reeva”).
"I believe that it is appropriate to deal with the merits in this application, particularly in view of the State’s contention that I planned to murder Reeva. Nothing can be further from the truth and I have no doubt that it is not possible for the State to present objective facts to substantiate such an allegation, as there is no substance in the allegation.
"I am acutely aware of violent crime being committed by intruders entering homes with a view to commit crime, including violent crime. I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and of burglaries before. For that reason I kept my firearm, a 9 mm Parabellum, underneath my bed when I went to bed at night.
"During the early morning hours of 14 February 2013, I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains.I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that someone was in the bathroom. I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside.
"Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps. I believed that someone had entered my house.I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed.On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police.It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.
"I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window.
"As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself.I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps. I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance.
"Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding. When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet.
"I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help. I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open. I think I must then have turned on the lights. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door.
"Reeva was slumped over but alive. I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom. I went downstairs to open the front door. I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.
"I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva."
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