PRETORIA Following are edited extracts of the testimony of South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius in which he described the moment he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year.
Pistorius told the court he heard his bathroom window sliding open in the middle of the night. Convinced that one or more intruders were climbing in, he picked up a 9mm pistol from under his bed and moved towards the bathroom on his stumps.
"I got to the entrance of the bathroom, at the end of the passage, where I stopped screaming. At this point I was certain that an intruder or intruders were there in my bathroom.
"I had my pistol in my right hand and I peered in.
"There was no light in the bathroom. As I slowly peered into the bathroom, I could see that the window was open indeed.
"At this point I started screaming again for Reeva to phone the police ... I wasn't sure where to point my firearm. I had it pointed at the toilet but my eyes were going between the window and the toilet."
"I wasn't sure if somebody was going to come out of the toilet and attack me. I wasn't sure if someone was going to come up the ladder and point a firearm and start shooting. So I just stayed where I was and I kept on screaming."
"Then I heard a noise from inside the toilet, what I perceived to be somebody coming out of the toilet. Before I knew it, I fired four shots at the door."
"My ears were ringing, I couldn't hear anything, so I kept on shouting for Reeva to phone the police. I was so scared to retreat because I wasn't sure if there was somebody on the ladder. I wasn't sure there was somebody in the toilet.
"I don't know how long I stood there. I shouted for Reeva.
"At some point I decided to walk back to the room because I couldn't hear anything. My ears were ringing.
"I kept on shouting for Reeva, I didn't hear anything. At this point it didn't occur to me that it could have been Reeva in the bathroom. I still thought they could be intruders.
"I retreated back to the point where I got to the corner of the bed. I tried to lift myself up while talking to Reeva. No one responded to me. At that point lifted myself up into the bed and I thought Reeva was there and I couldn't feel anything.
"At that point the first thing I thought was maybe she got down onto the floor like I told her to, maybe she was just scared ... I can't remember what I said but I was trying to talk out to her.
"It was upon that time, my Lady, that it first dawned upon me that it could be Reeva that was in the bathroom or in the toilet. I jumped out of the other side of the bed and I ran my hands along the curtains to see that she wasn't hiding.
"I didn't want to believe it was Reeva in the toilet, I was so scared that someone was coming in to attack us. I made my way inside the bathroom ... I tried to grab the handle, rip open the door. I pushed the door to open and it was locked.
"I ran back to the room, I opened the curtains, opened the doors and shouted from the balcony for help. I screamed 'help, help, help'. I screamed for somebody to help me.
"I put my prosthetic legs on. I ran as far as I could back to the bathroom, I ran into the door. It didn't move at all. I tried to kick the door but nothing happened."
"I was just panicked. At this point I didn't know what to make or what to do. So I run back to the bedroom where the cricket bat was between the cabinet and the door. I was screaming and shouting the whole time. I don't think I have ever screamed or cried like that. I was crying out to the Lord to help me, I was crying out to Reeva, I was screaming.
"I run straight back to the bathroom door, I must have placed my firearm on the carpet in the bathroom. The light was on at that stage, I don't remember switching it on but it was on when I kicked the door. I run straight up to the door and I started hitting it hard. I think I hit it three times.
"The first time I remember hitting the frame of the door, there was shock in my hands, I swung again and hit a small piece open. At that point all I wanted to do was to just look inside and to see if it was Reeva. I then hit the door, I think I hit the door three times and there was a big plank, I grabbed it with my hands and I threw it out into the bathroom. I tried to open the door from the inside but there was no key on the door. I leaned over the middle partition of the door and I saw the key was on the floor at that point and all I wanted to do was climb into the toilet over the middle part of the door. I took the keys and unlocked door. I sat over Reeva and I cried, I don't know how long ... I don't know how long I was there for."
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Joe Brock/Mark Heinrich)