Ex-girlfriend tells of cheating and gunplay at Pistorius trial

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Oscar Pistorius told a security guard on the phone that everything was “fine” after neighbours reported gunshots coming from his house the night he shot dead his girlfriend.

Security guard, Pieter Baba, said Pistorius phoned him back moments after the initial brief conversation, but then started crying, and the line went dead. It was minutes after the double-amputee Olympian shot dead Reeva Steenkamp.

“Not everything was in order as Mr Pistorius was telling me,” Baba recalled saying to a fellow guard outside the runner’s villa last year.

Baba’s testimony followed a damaging description of Pistorius’ character by a former girlfriend at his murder trial.

Samantha Taylor, who cried twice during her time in the witness box in the Pretoria court, said that Pistorius always carried a firearm when they dated, sometimes shouted angrily at her and her friends, once shot his gun out the sunroof of a car, and that their relationship ended when he cheated on her with Ms Steenkamp.

There were murmurs in court when Ms Taylor revealed what she said was the reason for their relationship ending. She said she started going out with Pistorius in 2011 when she was 17.

Ms Taylor described some of Pistorius’ habits, including what side of the bed he slept on and where he kept his gun. Her observations of what Pistorius did when they were together show different habits from what he says he did when he shot Ms Steenkamp with a pistol through a bathroom door.

Pistorius, 27, is charged with premeditated murder for killing Ms Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model. Prosecutors say he did it during an argument but he insists it was a mistake and that he fired through the door believing an intruder was behind it.

On the night Ms Steenkamp died, security guard Baba haddriven to Pistorius’s home with a colleague after neighbours called to report sounds like gunshots.

He called Pistorius after seeing lights on in the house, and Pistorius told him everything was OK Soon after he called back. “Maybe he wasn’t sure about calling me back,” Mr Baba testified. “He just started crying over the phone. That’s when the line went off.”

A few minutes later, Johan Stander, a manager of the housing complex, arrived with his daughter and the group went to the front door. He saw Pistorius coming down the stairs with Ms Steenkamp and ordered Mr Baba to call for the police and an ambulance, contradicting Pistorius’s account in which he claimed to have phoned Mr Stander earlier to call an ambulance.

The trial continues

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