herald

Monday 18 December 2017

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Here is a timeline of events inside the court room:

March 3 - Oscar Pistorius pleads not guilty in court to murder and three gun charges. Later, neighbour Michelle Burger tells the court she heard "blood-curdling" screams before the sound of four gunshots on the night the Olympian killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

March 10 - Pistorius vomits repeatedly in the dock as he hears graphic details of the injuries sustained by the girlfriend he fatally shot.

March 11 - A witness describes how a "furious" Pistorius fired a gun out of a car sunroof after being pulled over by police for speeding.

March 12 - Part of the crime scene is reconstructed in court as a forensic analyst demonstrates how Pistorius may have bashed a cricket bat on the door of his toilet to get to the girlfriend he had just fatally shot.

March 17 - The manager of a South African gun training academy says the athlete had "a great love and enthusiasm" for firearms.

March 19 - A police ballistics expert claims Ms Steenkamp was standing in a toilet cubicle and facing the closed door when she was hit in the right hip.

March 24 - Text messages between Pistorius and Ms Steenkamp are read to the court. In them she states she was sometimes scared of him.

March 28 - Judge Masipa delays proceedings until April 7 due to illness.

April 7 - The defence case opens. An emotional Pistorius begins with an apology to Ms Steenkamp's family.

April 8 - Pistorius breaks down in tears and howls while describing how he shot Ms Steenkamp.

April 9 - Giving evidence for a third day, Pistorius tells how his girlfriend "died while I was holding her", describing how he put his fingers in her mouth to try to help her breathe and put his hand on her hip to try to stop bleeding.

April 16 - Judge Masipa announces the trial will adjourn until May 5.

May 12 - Lawyers say the athlete should be placed under psychiatric observation. The case is delayed until June 30 while he is observed as an out-patient at a psychiatric hospital.

June 30 - After a month-long break, the murder trial resumes when mental health experts say Pistorius was not suffering from a mental illness when he killed Ms Steenkamp.

September 11 - The judge acquits Pistorius of premeditated and second-degree murder.

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