Tuesday, 4 March 2014

"I heard her scream terribly & yell for help"-Ist witness in Oscar Pistorius murder trial gives her account

The first witness to give evidence in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial told how she heard 'blood-curdling' screams from a woman followed by four gunshots on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed.
According to Daily mail....

Michell Burger, who lives on a neighbouring estate, took to the stand just after the Paralympian pleaded not guilty to murdering his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year.
Speaking in Afrikaans through an interpreter, Ms Burger told how she and her husband had been woken at around 3am that morning by a woman screaming and shouting for help.Continue..

'I was still sitting in the bed and I heard her screams. She screamed terribly and she yelled for help,' she said, her voice cracking with emotion.Then I also heard a man screaming for help. Three times he yelled for help. Just after her screams, I heard four shots. Four gunshots ... "Bang ...bang, bang, bang"
'It was very traumatic for me. You could hear that it was bloodcurdling screams.'
Asked to describe the successive shots, she said there was a pause between the first and second which was longer between the second and third shots and the third and fourth.

Ms Burger, who lives in the Silver Stream Estate, a neighbouring estate to Pistorius's Silverwoods Estate, said:
'I told my husband that I do not hope that that woman saw her husband being shot in front of her because after he screamed for help we didn't hear him again.'
The court heard she had assumed it was a house break-in that had happened.
Under cross-examination, she told the court:
 'I could not understand how I could clearly hear a woman scream, but Mr Pistorius couldn't hear that. I couldn't understand that. I agree that I heard four gunshots and that I heard a man screaming for help three times,' she said, describing the screams as 'fear-stricken' and 'petrified'.'I couldn't understand why Mr Pistorius didn't hear the screams of the woman and if he didn't hear the screams of the woman that's a question that needs to be asked to Mr Pistorius.'
Ms Burger told the court that, while she had clearly heard four gunshots, her husband had heard 'four, five or six' shots.
The late Reeva 's mum June Steenkamp (left)in tears during trial
 She said the evening was confusing but also 'distressing', telling the court:

'The events of that evening was extremely traumatic for me. The fear in that woman's voice is difficult to explain to the court.'She said she was traumatised by what she had heard: 'It was a very emotional situation to have to hear.
'The absolute petrified screams and shouts, it was not just another evening, it was extremely emotional.'
The state says Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp at his home in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day last year by shooting her through a toilet door after an argument.
Pistorius denies murder and says he killed his girlfriend by mistake when he fired four times through the door thinking there was a dangerous nighttime intruder on the other side.

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