Oscar Pistorius trial: Ten thi

Oscar Pistorius trial: Ten things we learned on Day 5

Samantha Taylor, Oscar Pistorius’s last girlfriend before Reeva Steenkamp, took the stand in court on Friday. She said the Paralympian carried a gun with him all the time and described an incident in which he recklessly shot his gun through the sunroof of a car.

Oscar Pistorius trial: Ten thi

Here are ten interesting things that came to light on day five of the Oscar Pistorius trial.

1. Pistorius screams like a man

Pistorius’s defence, Barry Roux, has insisted all week that his client sounds like a woman when screaming and therefore any screams witnesses heard could have been him in distress, not Reeva.

However, events took an interesting turn today when Samantha Taylor, Pistorius’s last girlfriend before Reeva Steenkamp, told the court that she heard Pistorius scream in the past and it definitely sounded like a man.

The bone of contention here is whether it’s the same kind of noise they are talking about — Taylor admitted she had only heard him scream in anger.

2. Sighting of Pistorius through bathroom window

Johan Stipp, a doctor and one of Pistorius’s neighbours, began testifying yesterday and continued this morning.

He was on his balcony after hearing gunshots and screams when he allegedly saw someone move from right to left in a bathroom window.

This seems to have been Pistorius after breaking down the bathroom door. Stipp allegedly saw a “light silhouette” which seems to be Pistorius with his shirt off.

3. No “blood-curdling screams”?

Earlier in the week, husband and wife Michelle Burger and Charl Johnson both separately testified that they heard blood-curdling screams coming from Pistorius’s house.

However, their house is about 177m away. Stipp’s is 72m away and denied hearing any such emotional screams.

4. Tabloids missed Pistorius Olympic ‘affair’ gossip

The reportedly small and meek-looking Taylor became very upset twice during the trial today, first when talking about Pistorius cheating on her and later why they broke up, leading to two brief adjournments.

As well as alleging that he cheated on her with Reeva Steenkamp towards the end of 2012, Taylor admitted that she went to Dubai with another man while Pistorius was at the London Olympics in August of that year. They had briefly separated at the time but several journalists expressed amazement that no tabloids ran this story at the time.

5. Pistorius carried a gun with him “all the time”

Taylor told the court that Pistorius carried a gun “all the time” when they were dating, painting an uneasy picture of his attachment to and reliance on weapons.

6. Robot (traffic light) shooting

Taylor also recalled an incident when she was in a car with Pistorius and a friend, Darren Fresco, who was driving. They were stopped by police for speeding and Pistorius’s gun was on the front seat as he was questioned. The policeman said it should not be left there and cocked the gun so the bullets flew out.

Pistorius became angry and said the policeman was not allowed to touch the gun, and the two friends said they wanted to shoot a traffic light. Pistorius then shot the gun through the sun roof and laughed.

7. Pistorius woke Taylor on several occasions when he thought he heard an intruder

This could be key evidence for the state. Taylor told the court that there were several nights during their time together that Pistorius woke her up to ask her if she heard possible intruders and share his concern.

One specific example she gave was one night when something hit the window waking him up, and he in turn woke her up to ask what she thought it was.

This could be important, because if this was commonplace for Pistorius, why had he not woken Steenkamp if he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom?

8. “Everything is fine”

The last witness of the day was Pieter Baba, a security guard at the Silverwoods estate who was on duty the night of the murder. Much of the questioning regarded exact timings and detail about patrols of the estate and phone calls made, but the most important quote came from a phone call.

Baba phoned Pistorius and was told “everything is fine” before he heard crying. Pistorius then phoned him back but Baba could just hear crying before the call cut off.

Roux questioned Baba hard on the exact wording as he had been fluctuating between “fine” and “okay”, and Roux wanted to know if Pistorius said everything was fine or that he was fine.

Baba was quite clear that the quote was “everything is fine” and was more certain about it than seemingly anything else, but Roux announced he would return to the matter on Monday.

Baba also expressed how shocked he then was to arrive at Pistorius’s house and see him carrying Steenkamp’s body down the stairs.

9. Several neighbours’ doors were open that night

Baba also recalled that he saw several neighbour’s doors open at some point during the night, including the Stipps and at least two others. This could mean that the sound of gunshots and screams were heard by them more easily than Roux is trying to convey.

10. The lights were on

Both Dr Stipp and Pieter Baba contradicted Pistorius’s statement that he crept to the bathroom in the dark by saying that they saw the lights on in his house.

Pistorius said previously he was too scared to turn a light on. However, if these witnesses are to be believed, this could mean that Pistorius was not scared at all and therefore that he did not think there was an intruder.