Trial hears Oscar Pistorius had 'big love of weapons'

Tuesday 11 March 2014 22.53
Oscar Pistorius denies the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (Pic: EPA)
Oscar Pistorius denies the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (Pic: EPA)

A friend of Oscar Pistorius has told his murder trial in Pretoria that the Olympic and Paralympic athlete was passionate about guns.

Darren Fresco told the court that Mr Pistorius had fired a gun through a sunroof and again inside a crowded restaurant.

In his testimony, Mr Fresco said: "We had been to the shooting range before and I knew he had a big love of weapons."

Mr Pistorius denies intentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February 2013 and says he mistook her for a burglar.

Prosecutors have levelled two counts of firing a gun in public against Mr Pistorius, as well as the murder charge.

He faces a fourth charge of illegal possession of unlicensed ammunition. The 27-year-old double amputee has pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

Mr Fresco was with Mr Pistorius when he fired a gun through the sunroof of a moving car in 2012.

Mr Pistorius shot at a traffic light after a row with traffic police.

Asked of his reaction, Mr Fresco told Judge Thokozile Masipa: "Apologies my lady, but I asked if he was 'f***** mad', he just laughed."

Mr Pistorius had reportedly been angry because a traffic police officer had touched his gun, which lay on the passenger seat when the car was pulled over for speeding.

"Then there was an altercation, a verbal altercation between the accused and the metro police officer," said Mr Fresco.

"You can't just touch another man's gun", the athlete was said to have remarked.

In another shooting incident, Mr Pistorius asked Mr Fresco to take the rap on his behalf after discharging a firearm inside a packed Johannesburg restaurant.

"Being a friend I said I would, with pleasure," Mr Fresco said.

Earlier, state pathologist Gert Saayman told the court that food found in Ms Steenkamp's stomach suggested she had eaten at about 1am, two hours before she died and in contradiction to Mr Pistorius's testimony that the couple went to bed at 10pm.

Mr Saayman said Ms Steenkamp would have most certainly screamed after being shot in the arm and hip before a final shot in the head killed her.

Mr Pistorius wept and vomited several times into a bucket yesterday as Mr Saayman detailed the extent of Ms Steenkamp's injuries.