Pistorius' girlfriend: 'I'm scared of u'

LISA DAVIES
Last updated 13:59 25/03/2014
Fairfax Media

Oscar Pistorius' neighbour Anette Stipp says she heard a woman scream after shots were fired the night the Paralympic athlete killed his 29-year old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius
Reuters
IN COURT: Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts as he sits in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

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A week before her violent death, Reeva Steenkamp was on the arm of her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, smiling as the cameras focused on South Africa's hottest new couple.

But soon after they left the sports awards event on February 7, she sent him a now-chilling message: "I can't be attacked by outsiders for dating you AND be attacked by you, the one person I deserve protection from."

Telephone records presented at Pistorius' murder trial on Monday night (NZT) have exposed a darker side to the couple's three-month relationship, in the lead up to the fatal shooting at the Olympian's Pretoria home on Valentine's Day 2013.

Steenkamp's phone records have revealed how she told Pistorius that while she tried her best to make him happy and not "rock the boat", she was also fearful of his increasingly frequent "tantrums".

"I'm scared of u sometimes and how u snap at me and of how u will react to me," Steenkamp wrote to Pistorius on January 27, 2013 via the WhatsApp messaging service on her iPhone.

"You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together ... But I'm also the girl that gets side-stepped when you are in a shit mood."

The message concludes: "I just want to love and be loved. Be happy and make someone SO happy. Maybe we can't do that for each other. Cos right now I know u aren't happy and I am certainly very unhappy and sad."

However, the couple was still together 10 days later when she accompanied him to a sports awards ceremony in Johannesburg on February 7.

But it appears from the messages that Pistorius became angry with Steenkamp, humiliating her in front of other people.

"I like to believe that I make u proud when I attend these kinds of functions with u," the message sent later that evening begins.

"I didn't think you would criticise me ... especially not so loudly so that others could hear. I'm a person too and I appreciate that you invited me tonight I realise u get harassed but I'm trying my best to make you happy and I feel as though u sometimes never are no matter the effort I put in."

The evidence on day 14 of the trial appears to be in contrast to Pistorius' assertion that the couple were in a close and loving relationship at the time he claims he mistook her for an intruder, shooting her dead through the bathroom door.

Police Captain Francois Moller, who is expected to be one of the last few witnesses called before the prosecution closes their case, told the court he had analysed more than 1000 exchanges between Steenkamp and Pistorius on WhatsApp and other phone messaging applications.

He had been handed two Blackberry phones, two iPhones, two iPads and a Mac computer collected from Pistorius' house the day after the shooting.

Moller said printing the data on Steenkamp's phone would have resulted in more than 35,000 pages, although his analysis found only 10 pages were relevant to the prosecution's allegations of murder.

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The rest, he said, were what could be described as normal and loving ones typical of many relationships.

The long text message Steenkamp sent in January was apparently after the pair attended her friend's engagement party, during which Pistorius became upset and jealous that she was talking to another man.

"I was not flirting with anyone today. I feel sick that u suggested that and that u made a scene at the table and made us leave early," she wrote.

Pistorius' reply, located on Steenkamp's phone, contained an apology for his behaviour, saying he wanted to "sort this out".

"I don't want to have anything less than amazing for you and I," he wrote.

"I'm sorry for the things I say without thinking and for taking offense to some of your actions. The fact that I'm tired and sick isn't an excuse."

He goes on to admit that he was "upset" that Steenkamp "just left" him and was talking to another male while he was standing so close by.

Pistorius had appeared subdued for most of the day, but appeared to become tearful as Moller read the messages.

The court also heard how the couple had exchanged text messages after the shooting incident in Tasha's restaurant a month before Steenkamp's death.

It's previously been alleged that Pistorius carelessly and recklessly handled a gun belonging to a friend, causing it to misfire in the crowded restaurant.

Boxer Kevin Lerena and Darren Fresco both testified that Pistorius asked the latter to take the blame for the shot.

The 27-year-old Paralympic gold medallist wrote to Steenkamp: "Angel, please don't say a thing to any one. Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can't afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing."

She replies, with a smilie face image at the end of this message: "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Police have tried to access information on Pistorius' locked iPhone for months, with the double-amputee claiming he has forgotten the password for it.

Moller met Apple officials in the United States earlier this year, and it has yet to be revealed what may have been contained on the phone.

Moller's evidence continues tonight.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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