To think Oscar Pistorius deserves the benefit of the doubt?

(218 Posts)
SilverMoo Tue 19-Feb-13 19:10:10

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? I think the media circus around this is really unfair and am shocked so many people are ready to jump on the bandwagon and call him a murdering woman hater before he's even been tried. Just that really.

littlemonkeychops Tue 19-Feb-13 19:14:13

I agree, it's awful for all concerned and an absolute dream for the media

WileyRoadRunner Tue 19-Feb-13 19:17:19

YANBU <dons hardhat and hides>

Euphemia Tue 19-Feb-13 19:17:53

Why the heck it was the lead story on the news tonight I do not know.

RedHotRudieParts Tue 19-Feb-13 19:18:51

Yanbu, he's entitled to a fair trial.

FutTheShuckUp Tue 19-Feb-13 19:19:26

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine is he is as guilty as sin shrug

Wereonourway Tue 19-Feb-13 19:19:55

I said the same at work today and got a flaming from colleagues.
In this country the trials usually takes months and months to come around and although the media cover them extensively I feel the images of the court room etc just a week after the event are quite upsetting.
We don't know what happened, yet the media over there, and even the police seem quick to right off the accident theory.
Very sad, I really feel for her family too. The media coverage surely won't be helping them

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Tue 19-Feb-13 19:20:15

YANBU.

WilsonFrickett Tue 19-Feb-13 19:20:31

He's entitled to a fair trial.
Not sure why the media here is so all over it.
However he did shoot and kill his girlfriend.

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 19:21:42

No he deserves a fair trial - not the benefit of the doubt!!!

He has been accused of murder. It needs to be fully heard. How can you possibly give someone who has been accused of murder the benefit of the doubt???

SilverMoo Tue 19-Feb-13 19:22:03

I know the reason they have released so many details is because he will be tried by a judge and not a jury, but the media are clearly using this information to shit stir, for want of a better word.

slatternlymother Tue 19-Feb-13 19:23:06

wilson it's because we, as a society, love the celebrity culture. It also fills column inches/news time and stops people focussing on the PM/economy etc. Anything to detract from that, eh?

I do happen to agree. It's a matter for the courts. However, I fear he has already had a trial by media.

Also agree this must be horrific for Reeva's family.

McPheetStink Tue 19-Feb-13 19:23:41

I think I may be one of the very few, who genuinely don't think it was meant to happen. That it wasn't premeditated. Personally, I am more inclined to say it was a shit series of events and responses to what he thought was happening in his home.

Happy to be proved wrong though.

WileyRoadRunner Tue 19-Feb-13 19:24:28

How can you possibly give someone who has been accused of murder the benefit of the doubt???

Ummm because he's innocent until proven guilty.

cocoachannel Tue 19-Feb-13 19:24:49

Had the police not made the statement about other reports of domestic violence at the house just hours after the shooting the public/media to e would be very different. I really can't see why that was allowed to happen. Yes, they were responding to speculation about him suspecting an intruder and a horrible accident caused by mistaken identity, but could have just said it is too early for speculation. He may well be guilty but should have a fair trial.

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 19:24:58

Well you'd hope that if it was premeditated he'd have done a better job of it

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 19:25:42

Ummm because he's innocent until proven guilty.

Yes but giving someone the benefit of the doubt doesn't mean that to me.

giraffesCantFlipPancakes Tue 19-Feb-13 19:25:46

I am shocked at how many details are coming out so fast

WileyRoadRunner Tue 19-Feb-13 19:25:48

although I hasten to add he is guilty of killing Reeva whichever way the trial turns out.

Frankly I don't give a shit whether it was murder, premeditated murder or what. I do care that a woman was killed but is being largely ignored by the media (although I suppose that's better than the initial response by the tabloids). And I care that a man is being condemned by idiots whose only knowledge of the case is from the media.

ChairmanWow Tue 19-Feb-13 19:29:56

Agree with Jins. And I think it's fair to say that it is at the very least difficult to give someone the benefit of the doubt when they're charged with murder. There has to be a reasonable assumption of guilt otherwise why try someone?

Media circus OTT though. The facts will out during the trial. Sadly the media want blood now and are not prepared to wait for the sake of a fair trial.

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 19-Feb-13 19:30:45

What he deserves is a fair trial. FAIR.

I would have hoped that what he has a right to is a fair trial, but the SA process of the police telling half told stories and snippets to the public, the lawyers trading hardly-researched random bits of 'evidence' in the bail hearing without forensic back-up, and no jury when it does come to trial suggests to me that it will rely on speculation and assumption as much as proven evidence.

It doesn't matter who the accused is, no justice system has worth unless it is scrupulously fair.

lljkk Tue 19-Feb-13 19:34:50

yanbu, but if you believe his story he's still guilty of 2nd degree murder (manslaughter). What a waste.

olgaga Tue 19-Feb-13 19:37:57

Unlike here there is no jury trial in SA, so the fairness of the proceedings isn't assumed to be affected by the media circus.

One thing's for sure, it's too late for the woman he shot dead to enjoy any agreeable notion of "fairness".

Wereonourway Tue 19-Feb-13 19:38:40

I also wondered why the police were giving out info on previous visits to the home.
Do South Africa not use trial by jury?

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 19-Feb-13 19:39:54

I am so shocked by this. Whatever happened a young woman has died in terrifying circumstances and he has ruined his life and all he stood for. What a waste - a terrible waste.

ginmakesitallok Tue 19-Feb-13 19:40:13

He's admitted killing her, he's not innocent?

Wereonourway Tue 19-Feb-13 19:40:37

X posted with olgaga.
Surely magistrate / judge or their South African equivalent will also be swayed by media circus?
In such a case it will be difficult for anyone to prove without doubt whether it was or wasn't premeditated?

TidyDancer Tue 19-Feb-13 19:41:05

Totally agree OP. the whole thing is a desperately sad situation, but I do not believe it was murder.

SilverMoo Tue 19-Feb-13 19:42:27

Imagine for a second he is innocent and has shot dead his girlfriend who he loved thinking he was protecting her, I would imagine having to live with himself will be the worst punishment if he is innocent.

Wereonourway Tue 19-Feb-13 19:42:29

Also agree that the argument over pre meditation doesn't for to change the tragic circumstances.

Ponderingonaquandry Tue 19-Feb-13 19:43:03

From what I've read he's not denying his guilt over whether he murdered her he is denying its premeditated and on that count I hope he gets a full and fair trial. From what I've read her family don't feel it's premeditated so let's hope he can take some solace in that.

Fwiw I think it's a tragic accident in a country where fear and firearms rule.

Yellowtip Tue 19-Feb-13 19:47:02

Wiley if he killed her unintentionally then he's not guilty, by definition.

I'd like to think I subscribe to 'innocent until proved guilty' but there are some trials currently going on closer to home where I've prejudged the issue, so it's not an absolute with me. Even though it should be, I know.

lljkk Tue 19-Feb-13 19:48:52

Killing someone thru stupidity is still a crime.

WileyRoadRunner Tue 19-Feb-13 19:49:17

^ not guilty of murder yellowtip no.

I am sorry but I really don't think there is going to be anything fair wrt this trial.

Well he's not going to get a fair trial if you define it by the British justice system.

It's SA - there's no jury, either side can say what the cock they like as there's no jury pool to prejudice. It's one judge. And it's done much quicker.

He's guilty of killing her, the only doubt is whether he intended to.

What joyful said, absolutely.

I also wouldn't have thought 'benefit of the doubt' means the same as 'fair trial'.

He shot someone dead without giving them the 'benefit of the doubt'.

I am inclined to think that it is more probable that a man killed his GF because DV is rife rather than his story. Doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a fair trial.

ceebeegeebies Tue 19-Feb-13 20:08:58

I desperately hope that it was a very tragic accident sad

However, as a PP has said, whatever happens, he has cast a very dark shadow over all his achievements which were amazing and it is highly unlikley that he will ever run again.

And, if it was an accident, he has to forever live with the guilt that he killed his girlfriend sad

And, finally, someone has lost their life and her family have to live with that.

The whole situation is desperately desperately tragic sad

hackmum Tue 19-Feb-13 20:11:34

I think the media circus is distasteful but inevitable.

He will almost be found guilty of something. Even if he thought he was shooting a burglar, he fired four times. I don't know how lenient the South African legal system is when it comes to killing someone in self-defence, but four shots seems excessive.

CockBollocks Tue 19-Feb-13 20:14:18

People have killed intruders in this country so I dont understand why it is so unfeasible that this was the case, especially when SA can be such a scary place.

We only know what the press have told us combined with a few details from the police neither of whom I particularly have much faith in telling completely unbiased truth.

TBH I cant imagine we will ever know what happened and regardless of what actually happened I suspect his fate is already decided.

I feel very sorry for the families involved.

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 20:14:40

He is guilty of killing her.

He is either guilty of deliberately killing her or he is guilty of killing her through acting incredibly recklessly.

I mean, come on! "I thought she was a burglar" is a pretty poor defence for shooting someone through a door when you know you have a guest in the house.

What with domestic violence calls and a blood splattered cricket bat as well, guilt of reckless stupidity sounds like an unlikely outcome.

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 20:15:43

And even if his argument is self defence - someone behind a locked door is not really an immediate threat hmm

Narked Tue 19-Feb-13 20:21:59

'Innocent until proven guilty' is part of our legal system. It means that the state can't punish you for a crime without due process. It has fuck all to do with what individuals think, particularly about a trial in a country that doesn't use juries for criminal matters.

We would all love to believe in the concept of been considered innocent until proven guilty, but what sort of justice or truth will the Steenkamps really get when he is lawyered up to the hilt with PR ....

Ponderingonaquandry Tue 19-Feb-13 20:31:42

What gets me sympathising with him is just how vulnerable must he feel at night when he's not got his legs on or easily to hand so if he's been a previous victim of crime perhaps that's why he grossly over reacted?

whateveritakes Tue 19-Feb-13 20:32:05

MajaBieneHe can't have known the door was locked though until afterwards (if that's what happened).

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 20:35:15

Shooting through a closed door is still not reasonable.

thezebrawearspurple Tue 19-Feb-13 20:37:53

He did kill her, the court needs to decide whether it was reckless stupidity or actual murder. He will have a fair trial, he's rich, famous, a sports hero, white and has the world media watching every move. There are a lot of details released by the police to counter pr coming from Pistorius camp. They don't have trial by jury in SA, it is a judge that determines guilt or innocence by the evidence shown so they can release as many details as they want because a professional won't be swayed by media propaganda from either side.

Ponderingonaquandry Tue 19-Feb-13 20:38:47

No but who are we to say what is reasonable in the mind of someone in his position?

Think. You've got no legs, you're in a country where intruders do pretty gruesome things to their victims, you're in a property that isn't fully secure, the expected reaction for a home invasion is to shoot first ask questions later.

It's not the safe and cosy uk this has taken place in

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 20:40:27

Some of the evidence suggests that a shot was fired before the victim locked herself in the bathroom....

It will also be interesting to see whose blood is on the cricket bat

Let alone what he was doing with the performance enhancing steroids

I've not reached a conclusion on this, I'm waiting for the judgement, but looking at what's been put before the court I can see why the charge is murder. Let's wait for his defence

CockBollocks Tue 19-Feb-13 20:41:24

Why is it not reasonable? If you genuinely thought that an intruder was behind the door in a country where said intruder would most definately be armed, would you not shoot first? Knowing you would be at a disadvantage being disabled when they came out?

His statement to the court today sounds quite reasonable tbh, but like I say i'm not sure we will ever know the truth.

court statement

CockBollocks Tue 19-Feb-13 20:42:46

The cricket bat will be her blood as he says he used it to smash the door in when he realised what he had done.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 19-Feb-13 20:44:52

Read his statement, not once does express contrition at killing her, except for what he's put her family through. Also, as I said in the thread in the 'In The News' section, his story is as full of holes as a barrel full of arses.

I don't feel sorry for him at all, he chose to shoot. My sympathies are entirely with her family and friends.

Ponderingonaquandry Tue 19-Feb-13 20:48:16

But is that statement the best place for a show of contrition? I thought the point of it was to show the courts he isn't going to abscond if given bail?

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 20:48:40

It's not reasonable to shoot someone you cannot see, who is not posing an immediate threat to you.

WileyRoadRunner Tue 19-Feb-13 20:48:41

But a lot of this "evidence" at the moment has come from newspapers.

Shots fired in the bedroom and blood on the cricket bat/ fractured skull accusations were not raised today. As they were arguing for it to be seen as section 6 pre meditated would have thought it would have come up.

Perhaps all of those things have been fabricated by the media?

Who knows.

whateveritakes Tue 19-Feb-13 20:52:17

Would you not do a quick check on your girlfriend whilst putting on your legs and getting the gun (under the bed she was sleeping in).

His story makes sense too as most people in South Africa have some story that makes them paranoid. How could you not quickly look over to your bed partner especially if you were yelling at the person in the toilet, putting on legs, finding your gun?

SA is an incredibly violent place and everyone is gunned up to the hilt - I just don't buy the intruder story .... And it detracts and is an insult to those families who have lost family because of 'genuine' crime ....

I just hope the Steenkamps get the truth

SilverMoo Tue 19-Feb-13 20:56:40

From what I have read on mumsnet, home invasions/burglaries in South Africa are a totally different ball game to burglaries in the UK and people try to protect themselves accordingly.

Yes they are - that is why people live in gated, secure developments, with armed response, security alarms and so the need to automatically reach for a gun is somewhat diminished ...

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 21:00:55

If you live on a secure estate with security guards and you think an intruder is in your bathroom (why would you assume there is an intruder in your bathroom rather than your girlfriend? Sure, if you heard someone in the kitchen or study in the middle of the night then maybe intruder is a reasonable assumption...) would your first instinct really be to shoot wildly through the door rather than checking your girlfriend is ok or alerting the guards or getting out?

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 21:03:58

He had his prosthetic legs on when he shot her, so its not like he was especially vulnerable or couldn't get away (unlike Reeva Steenkamp).

CockBollocks Tue 19-Feb-13 21:04:54

Did he?

Ponderingonaquandry Tue 19-Feb-13 21:05:22

No he didn't if you read his appeal for bail. He put them on afterwards when he went for help.

Ponderingonaquandry Tue 19-Feb-13 21:06:14

His bail application states he has some but not full mobility on his stumps and did not have his prosthetics on at the time of the shooting.

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 21:06:59

Prosecution say he had his legs on - I guess that will be easy enough to prove/disprove by the trajectory of the bullets he fired.

mrslaughan Tue 19-Feb-13 21:09:20

I think because he will be apparently tried by a judge, rather than a jury, that he is more likely to get a fair trail and reeva will get justice. RIP

stickingattwo Tue 19-Feb-13 21:12:49

He's one of the world's most famous athletes that's why we're reading about it over here.

It's such a flimsy "defence" - beats his girlfriend, she locks herself in the bathroom, he shoots her.

mrslaughan Tue 19-Feb-13 21:16:03

Well said majabiene

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Tue 19-Feb-13 21:17:22

The trial by media is disgusting. There's no way his trial can be a fair one now.
Clearly the media decided 'fallen hero' would sell more papers then 'look what this country is leading us to do to each other'

There was a similar case a few weeks ago where a family member shot another thinking it was an intruder.

MajaBiene Tue 19-Feb-13 21:19:11

His trial is just in front of a judge, not a jury, so no reason to think it won't be fair.

herethereandeverywhere Tue 19-Feb-13 21:20:11

What strikes me about his statement is that lots of his assertions could be proven/disproven by forensics/other evidence. eg:

- Legs on/off at time of shooting: trajectory of bullets would dis/prove this.
- All shots through bathroom door: forensics as to evidence of shooting elsewhere
- Bat used just to break door after shooting: forensics should show if it's been used for anything else.

What I find strange about his statement (taking it a face value), is that with 4 shots being fired, why didn't he hear (or listen for) any response from the victim behind the door? Did Reeva stay completely silent? (Maybe her injuries prevented her making a sound, pathologists/medical experts may well be able to ascertain this). If it was a total accident I can't understand how the person being shot wouldn't have made the slightest sound.

He is innocent until proven guilty in respect of his intentions. I'm saddened that an innocent women has died in such violence and that the world thought it had a revolutionary hero and it doesn't anymore.

difficultpickle Tue 19-Feb-13 21:20:22

There is no jury system in SA so he can only be tried by a judge. Lots of what has been disclosed makes no sense to me at all. All I hope is justice is done for all involved. Whatever the outcome of the trial one person has lost their life and the other has destroyed his own future.

whateveritakes Tue 19-Feb-13 21:21:22

It can be fair because they will look at the evidence not newspaper reports and third hand stories.

HollyBerryBush Tue 19-Feb-13 21:23:11

Hello!

We, well you lot, are talking about differnt laws ina different country with differnt legislation accordingly.

I'm sure his trial will be conducted according to their laws.

xkittyx Tue 19-Feb-13 21:32:56

Can I just say, as someone who grew up in Southern Africa with firearms in the household, you'd have to be an utter, blithering idiot to fire wildly through a shut door having not properly ascertained who is behind the door.
Asking for a tragedy. Clearly I should be more grateful than I realised that I made it to adulthood without a family member blowing me to bits.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 19-Feb-13 21:37:08

YABU - as jins said he deserves a fair trial, not the benefit of the doubt.

I'm thinking his explanation of events is a tissue of lies, carefully constructed after the event to explain the physical evidence at the scene.

Intruders hiding in locked toilets, him able to fetch the gun from under the bed, but unable to tell Reeva wasn't in the bed? Hearing movement in the toilet and not saying 'That you, Reeva...?' before shooting through the door? Just does not ring true.

Hopefully the forensics will be able to shed more light on what actually happened on the night - and the real truth will out.

Lizzylou Tue 19-Feb-13 21:42:25

I heard today on the news that he had his prosthetics on. I also heard that he was high on steroids. I think the steroid matter won't hold any water because he was about due to race, so surely would have been regularly tested?

Whatever. Too much is being made of Oscar and not enough of a woman who was shot to death and buried today. Because she was not a world famous athlete I suppose. I'd be boiling with rage and grief if I had known and loved Reeva.

It will all come out what actually happened on that night. I do know that friends who live/have lived in SA don't buy the shooting intruder in the loo theory.

Innocent until proven guilty, yes. The rush to try and absolve OP is distasteful imo.

ballstoit Tue 19-Feb-13 21:46:03

The phrase 'benefit of the doubt' is a bit odd, but I understand the sentiment.

The SA judicial system is clearly very different to the UK's, and the reports I've read (such as the one linked in the Guardian) are reporting what has already been said in court.

It's all speculation until forensic evidence is released, but he has had a chance to defend himself in terms of the bail hearing. Although, there do seem to be questionable elements in his version of events. Such as, why his girlfriend would lock herself in the toilet if she was just popping for a wee in the middle of the night. And why he wouldn't check the bed while he was getting the gun out from under it.

farewellfarewell Tue 19-Feb-13 21:52:05

Poor Reeva. I hope justice is served.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 19-Feb-13 22:02:37

He can buy the best legal team he will get a fair trial they shall make sure of that

Innocent until proven guilty what like jimmy savile, OJ Simpson and many other guilty people who have slipped through the justice system do you have that much faith in the legal system in South Africa hmm

He is guilty hopefully justice shall be done

ledkr Tue 19-Feb-13 22:05:26

Would you feel the same if he was just a bloke from down the road??

One of dh's work colleagues lives very near him. He said intruders are rare as security is shit hot.

maddening Tue 19-Feb-13 22:15:07

I saw a news story about a man whose house was being burgled and he ran to get his gun from his bedroom - he saw his bedroom doorhandle turning and show at the door - when he opened it it had been his 7yr old daughter who was coming to see her parents as she had woken scared - his bullet hit her in the head and she died.

It has happened. In order to proceed there must be proof it was not accidental - the bloody cricket bat must be it - it is possible he shot in the dark and didn't see her but to then hit her on the head with a cricket bat - or even the other way round.

thebody Tue 19-Feb-13 22:20:54

Yes agree op but can't think he isn't as guilty as hell of shooting her in a fit of rage as she kicked herself in the toilet.

thebody Tue 19-Feb-13 22:21:21

Locked not kicked

somewhereaclockisticking Tue 19-Feb-13 22:29:09

He did shoot her and he doesn't deny that but says it was an accident - he shot her 4 times whilst she was locked in the bathroom. I think once may be an accident but 4 times???? I think if it was my daughter I probably wouldn't want him to get a fair trial at all and if he was my son I'd stand by him but couldn't defend his actions. FOUR times.

somewhereaclockisticking Tue 19-Feb-13 22:32:25

Maddening - that's a terrible story about the father but he didn't shoot his daughter 4 times whilst she was locked in another room. This story just doesn't make any sense. First he says he thought she was a burglar then he was jealous she might be involved with someone else - why don't people just split up??

whateveritakes Tue 19-Feb-13 22:34:51

It was a toilet inside a bathroom though.

Unless you have a shotgun, one bullet is just going to have the "burglar" come out shooting at you. Four means business.

maddening Tue 19-Feb-13 22:38:28

Exactly - it is a plausible defence and believable as you can imagine the scene. There are many cases where it has happened. But I doubt the authorities would just jump to the point of charging him and taking it to trial if there was not v good evidence to support his version of events - they must be pretty certain to move so quickly.

woopsidaisy Tue 19-Feb-13 22:40:00

The guy shot four times onto the bathroom, without even checking who was there?! And that is supposed to make me go poor him!

maddening Tue 19-Feb-13 22:40:16

Sorry if the evidence did not support his version of events and instead points to murder.

Trekkie Tue 19-Feb-13 22:48:17

I was just watching this on the news with DH and there are a lot of things odd about his version of events.

Hopefully whichever side is the truth have convincing enough evidence to quiet any ongoing speculation.

2rebecca Tue 19-Feb-13 23:44:16

If my husband heard someone in the bathroom and we were supposed to be the only 2 people in the house I would expect him to presume it was me in the bathroom not a burglar, particularly if he hadn't checked where I was before he started shooting. It makes no sense.
When I first heard about this and heard he'd shot thinking it was a burglar I presumed she'd come to visit him as a surprise and had popped to the bathroom before going into his bedroom. That scenario made some sense. The shooting someone you can't see in a bathroom before checking it's not the person you share the bathroom with makes no sense. If he didn't mean to kill her he was off his face on something.

fraggletits Tue 19-Feb-13 23:44:44

I just look at his face, standing there in court and think 'Why?!' - tragedies happen all over the world, everyday - but Oscar was a hero, on the world stage with absolutely everything to lose, they'd only been going out 3 months - so I know what you're getting at when you say benefit of the doubt, it's just so unbelievable that he murdered her in cold blood.

I'm wary not to condem from 'facts' I've read in the papers (i hark back to comments I made about Amanda Knox having never actually been a witness at the murder she was accused of being part of)....but, I don't think it's looking good for Oscar - it's unbelievable what happened, but his defence is even more unbelievable IMO.

Reeva didn't deserve to die like that, no one would, she was absolutely beautiful and I hope her family can find strength in these dark days.

MaryPoppinsMassiveSack Wed 20-Feb-13 00:06:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

That is tasteless shock

MrRected Wed 20-Feb-13 00:38:53

There is no way, if you haven't lived in South Africa that you could understand the cold fear that runs through you when you think your house is being broken into in the dead of night.

This, and this alone, is what drove me away from my country. The place I was raised. It happened to me and I will never forget the wobbly legs, every sense on fire and a desparate desire to protect my children.

Opportunistic home invaders in South Africa kill and maim. They are driven by a desire to stay out of the South African penal system - South African jails are literally hell on earth.

Now I am not saying that Oscar is guilty or not guilty. I was not there, so I have no way of knowing and that's for the court to decice.

I am saying, that I understand that crippling fear. The knowledge that if they are in the house, they WILL kill you, if you are lucky it will be quick, if you aren't lucky they might rape you before torturning you. It happens. Every single day in South Africa.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 00:44:30

I think he's telling the truth. Either way, he killed her and nothing changes that obviously, but I think - implausible as it is - I find his version to be more likely than the alternative.

The media seems to have made his mind up (though having said that - I saw several tweets from journalists who were in the court today, who intimated that they believed him).

It's just heartbreaking all around really. Poor Reeva. My heart goes out to her family - and to Oscar's too. He just looks shell-shocked (bad choice of words - not trying to be funny) in the pictures in court.

I think he'll be convicted though. I just can't see that he won't be. Even if the judge believes his story, I think he'll still rule that it's murder, even if he intended to kill someone different.

I agree with whoever said that the trajectory of the bullets must surely prove whether he had his legs on or not.

If he is telling the truth, I wonder if he physically felt her in bed before he got up to get the fan, and that's why it didn't cross his mind that she was in the bathroom (having got up when he was getting the fan). I kind of get the bit about being confused about where someone is in the middle of the night. I got up to the loo the other night and was convinced that my DP was in bed next to me. I got the shock of my life when I walked in the bathroom and he was on the toilet. I can see how he could be confused - coupled with the vulnerability of being on his stumps and being wary of intruders generally - but obviously it's a huge leap from that to actually grabbing (or indeed having in the first place) a gun and shooting someone.

It may sound like I'm blindly believing him - but I'm not. There will be a lot more to come out. If the rumours about her head being bashed in by the cricket bat, or about steroids prove to be true, then I think it's a whole different story. I wonder if those rumours can be true though as wouldn't the prosectution have mentioned today if she'd been brained with a cricket bat? Maybe that will come out tomorrow.

Whatever the outcome - it's just horrific.

sashh Wed 20-Feb-13 06:11:38

you're in a property that isn't fully secure

Er, you are in a secure property with private armed guards controlling the entrance and exit to the estate/housing block / compound.

He is entitles to a fair trial, she is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

I think there will be a smear campaign against her in the next few weeks.

Timetoask Wed 20-Feb-13 06:49:10

Having read his explanation of the events, I believe him. His story makes sense, specially because of the fact he lives in SA a country known for being so dangerous.
There have been a number of times when in the dark I have thought DH is in the bed next to me only to realise later on that he is in the bathroom.
This terrible incident reinforces that we mustn't have guns in our homes!

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Feb-13 07:40:20

From what we've seen so far, which is very little as the trial has yet to begin, this is all preliminary court stuff, are news paper assumptions.

The question in my mind is: if you have a loaded gun, why would you use a cricket bat to break down the door rather than shoot the lock off?

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 07:57:41

HollyBerryBush - I suppose that if what he says is true, then once he realised that Reeva wasn't in bed then he wouldn't want to fire any more shots into the small toilet space

If all the rumours about the cricket bat being used to beat her etc aren't raised by the investigating officer/prosecuting team today, then the press need to rein it in - its might that this isn't seen prejudicial in SA as it would be in the UK. If the prosecution do put this evidence forward, then, well....

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 07:58:57

'mad' not 'might' - that the press speculation isn't seen as prejudicial

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 09:55:08

I totally agree OP.

He has not be proven guilty or innocent yet, but the media coverage has pretty much decided already.

He is definitely guilty of killing her- he has said so, but the point to be proven is whether it was an accident or a row gone wrong.

The police are being shockingly unprofessional by talking to the press so much.

Another point that really really irritates me is that Oscar says he thought it was an intruder. The police are saying there are no signs of a break in as if this proves he is lying. But the point is that he THOUGHT there was an intruder, not that there WAS an intruder. It's been driving me mad.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 09:58:04

Sorry, he is obviously not innocent of killing her, but it sounds to me like an accident gone horrible wrong.

mrsjay Wed 20-Feb-13 09:59:07

the whole thing is just bizarre I dont know what to make of it I dont get how he thought it was an intruder I just dont I guess that what the trial is for,

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 10:10:37

I'm with MrRected. Not that I've ever lived in or even been to South Africa, but I can appreciate that it's a very different culture to the UK, where I am, and that it may well breed a certain mindset and behaviours. Add that to the fact that Oscar Pistorius is extremely high-profile and (presumably) wealthy, or at least perceived to be, and that he has received death threats in the past, and I can understand that mindset even better.

I also believe in innocent until proven guilty.

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Feb-13 10:14:54

Well, call me a jaundiced old cynic, but he will get the conviction or acquittal that money can buy - in the terms of being able to afford the best legal team in RSA to defend his corner and develop mittigating circumstances.

The spin doctors are working already to blacken Reevas name with other men. I'll be interested to see whether his defence team use the "vulnerable, disabled" angle

Accident or no accident he's lost everything - all his sponsorship, the steroids found will more than likely result in all his medals being stripped.

The press do love a fallen hero, nothing better than kicking someone when their down.

In all this we tend to forget a girl tragically died - and he's admitted he did it. It's just the why and how that needs to wrung out in court.

Because I don't believe, if the media summary is correct (it may not be) that he shot her in the hip THEN she 'ran' (she wouldnt be able to run) to the bathroom without making a sound, and lock her self in. A cry, a gasp would identify her as female - she would have called out. And if he genuinely thought she was an intruder, he's shot her once in the hip, as soon as she turned and ran/limped to the bathroom, he would have emptied the barrel into her retreating back.

Shoot first, ask later.

She would have called out from the bathroom, he would have been yelling and asking if she was ok, even if he thought she was still in the bedroom.

>chuckle< just as well I'm not on the jury!

MaryPoppinsMassiveSack Wed 20-Feb-13 10:21:46

Fir

Ponderingonaquandry Wed 20-Feb-13 10:26:46

All the stuff coming out in the press is just speculation and its grim. Two lives ended on valentines night in tragic circumstances, that much we know as fact. Reeva died in horrendous circumstances killed by the man she thought she loved and trusted. Oscar has lost everything he has known, his girlfriend, his home, his freedom, his reputation. I'm going along with the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise, do not do so would be unfair on a possibly innocent man.

MaryPoppinsMassiveSack Wed 20-Feb-13 10:31:27

Firstly, let me apologise for my 'joke' posted last night. I was rather drunk, (as the state of the multipla's left wing will attest) and not thinking so straight.

A friend lives in south Africa. She never walks the streets, ever. Even at 10am. She carries a gun at all times. She is no racist, being married to a black man and having a second home in Marseilles where there is a high African population. Our society is very different to the place where she and Oscar pistorius grew up, and sadly it has taught both to shoot first and ask questions later. I'm not defending Oscar as such, but we should let his judicial system make a decision and not vilify him based on our tamed standards.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 11:03:26

Just reading the tweets from court (on the Guardian website) - the police sound shockingly unprofessional. Not only the "leaks" to the press but some of the stuff they've been challenged on - they didn't check what the so called "steroids" are (it's apparently a legal herbal remedy), they didn't check OPs phone to see what emergency call he made, their witness to a row was 2/3 of kilometre away. When I read all their evidence this morning (found steroids, witness heard shouting etc), I was prepared to think his story was nonsense, but the defence team seem to be rebutting it.

Holly - I don't think it's been suggested by either side in court that she was hit in the hip before she went to the bathroom. There was something in the press about this the other day but I don't think it's been put forward as evidence.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 20-Feb-13 11:28:16

^ as above. the police didn't even check if he'd called the hospital from a phone other than the cellphones they recovered. He did. The call is recorded.

The police said they found steroids. It doesn't appear there were steroids.

The police said they argued. The witness who suggested this lives over 600m away and couldn't confirm it was OP and RS. They couldn't find any issues in the couples relationship so far to present a motive.

RS's bladder was empty - consistent with someone who had got up to go to toilet.

Junior prosecutor overheard saying "we're in trouble" whilst leaving the courtroom.

The police investigation appears to be just as flawed as OPs defence. I think it will come down to whether there is reasonable doubt in the prosecutions case when it goes to trial. They are going to have to come up with something better if they want to continue with the "premeditated" case.

Yellowtip Wed 20-Feb-13 13:27:45

The prosecution has been chewed up and spat out I'm very glad to hear.

So, can anyone answer me this... If he had to go and get the gun from under the bed, why didn't he:

Check if she was there
Ask her if she heard anything
Tell her to call the Police
Tell her to call the security in the compound
Tell her to get out of the house
Warn her there was going to be shooting and cover her ears
Tell her to get up and get dressed and give her the bat?

DH would have done at least a couple of these, Oscar supposedly didn't.

fromparistoberlin Wed 20-Feb-13 14:58:29

I bloody hate the media sometimes

Have his trial and let us know when its over

i am not overfond of south africa either, sorry. violent fucked up place

And that is why MrRected - I hope it is a case of mistaken identity and not DV.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 15:32:43

MrsTerryPratchett - I believe that he says that he shouted to her (ie to where he thought she was in bed) to call the police.

That police officer sounds useless.

rhino1971 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:35:56

Question for those of you that believe it was an accident... Do you truly believe that or just want to believe that because you like him, or because you don't feel he's getting a fair hearing?

I appreciate what we are hearing is gossip and not proven but did he really think it was someone trying to get into his house.

Why would an intruder lock themselves in a bathroom?
Why did he say he was asleep when 2 witnesses heard screaming between 2 and 3am (not confirmed)
would he seriously not have woken Reeva? or her not have woken herself when he got out of bed to go to the bathroom and shoot?

good job for Oscar i'm not his Judge smile

Fair enough LegoWidow that's sounds more believable. I'm not in the UK or SA so not getting the news as much. TBH he sounds guilty as sin from here but I'm glad I get a bit more of the nuance from MN.

recall Wed 20-Feb-13 15:42:11

What legowidow says, but I can't articulate it as well.

PhyllisDoris Wed 20-Feb-13 15:47:35

It seems as if a lot of the evidence from the prosecution has proved to be unsustainable today - eg the "testosterone" found in the room was a herbal remedy, the person who heard the screaming lives a long way from OP's house, and reported an incorrectn number of shots, the unlicenced gun is his Dad's, he does NOT have a house in Italy, etc etc

I'm inclined to think it wasn't pre-meditated murder, just an awful, awful accident.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 15:56:06

Good point rhino - I totally hear what you are saying. I'm trying not to be blinded to the fact that he might be guilty as sin. I'm not saying I definitely believe him (though I think that I do) but I'm yet to be persuaded by what I've heard otherwise. I find his story to be implausible BUT I also find the alternative to be implausible. I do want to believe him, you are right.

I'm trying to keep an open mind.

I'm a lawyer myself (not a criminal lawyer though) and I find it really unnerving that the press seem to have him tried and convicted already based on sensationalism that hasn't been borne out in the proceedings so far (it doesn't seem that she was beaten with the cricket bat, it doesn't seem that he had illegal steroids). The tweets from journos in the court (that I was reading via The Guardian website) have been fascinating and seem to be veering towards believing him.

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 15:58:07

Two issues stand out as hard for me to see as consistent with the claim that this was a tragic misunderstanding:

1) What MrsTP said re the actions it would reasonably be expected for Oscar to take which would have led him to ascertain Reeva was/ wasn't in the room. It just seems like instinct to me that you would see if the other person in the room had heard what you had heard/ was aware of what was going on and was in a position to defend themselves/ get help as needed if something happened to you. It seems to me I might also be immediately concerned to check the welfare of your loved ones -i.e. that they are not already in a dangerous position with any suspected intruder.

2)Why Oscar and Reeva were sleeping with the balcony doors open if there was such concern about intruders and previous death threats to Oscar.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 15:59:57

PhyllisDoris - yes, exactly. Though in the UK most of the papers are still screaming headlines e.g. of "testosterone found" even though that was rebutted. When asked if he'd looked at what it was before they subsequently detailed him having had steroids and putting that forward as part of their prosecution case (and presuming leading then to someone leaking the info), the police officer said that he hadn't read the label properly. I mean, WT actual F

Jins Wed 20-Feb-13 16:03:31

Pre-meditated murder doesn't mean he thought about it for weeks. It means that his intent was to kill and that intention may have been only seconds before he shot the gun.

There are huge holes in his case. I guess when it actually gets to trial it will have been perfected and he will have been trained what to say.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 20-Feb-13 16:03:41

Like anyone standing trial for murder Pistorius will get the 'benefit of the doubt' if the prosecution can't prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. That's self-evident. What I think some people mean by 'benefit of the doubt' however, is 'believe his side of the story unquestioningly'. That would be ridiculous.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 16:05:21

rhino, I have no particular feelings or opinion about him, so no, I don't 'just want to believe' he's innocent because I like him.

As for the fair hearing thing, I think there has already been a lot of knee-jerk reaction around this case and yes, I think he has possibly started from a point of being believed guilty.

I do not know if he's guilty or innocent at the moment but I believe in minimal sensationalism and innuendo and in innocent until proven guilty.

'did he really think it was someone trying to get into his house.' Well, perhaps he did.

'Why would an intruder lock themselves in a bathroom?' I don't know. Maybe in the cold light of day he doesn't know, but if you were scared out of your wits in the middle of the night you might think differently.
'Why did he say he was asleep when 2 witnesses heard screaming between 2 and 3am (not confirmed)' As you say yourself, it's not confirmed.
'would he seriously not have woken Reeva? or her not have woken herself when he got out of bed to go to the bathroom and shoot?' See my answer to the 'bathroom' point.

Don't get me wrong, if it becomes clear that he did knowingly murder his girlfriend I will condemn him as heavily as anyone else. Until then I'm keeping an open mind. I only hope the judge is too.

ophelia275 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:06:36

Of course he deserves a fair trial but I still think it all sounds really really dodgy and he is guilty as hell.

PollyFrances Wed 20-Feb-13 16:11:17

We do not know any if the facts in this case, only media speculation. Sadly, I do not think he will get a fair trial.

rhino1971 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:12:08

although the testosterone has been dismissed by the defence it may be they are just trying to limit the damage, yes it seems the police are useless, it's the Prosecutions word against the defence until all this is tested and proven.

The distance the witness who heard the screams has gone from 600 yards back to 300 yards and back again all in a day... all very messy.

Going back to why would an intruder lock themselves in the bathroom, any intruder in SA would surly also be armed and not need to lock themselves away, would Oscar really believe an intruder would hide in a small bathroom.

Was the Balcony open? if so then the argument about being frightened of intruders is utter rubbish.

I just cant get away from the feeling he did it on purpose in a fit of anger, everyone remembers the Olympics and how ungracious he was in defeat (not that makes him guilty of murder before i get flamed)

smuffin Wed 20-Feb-13 16:16:24

Apparently testosterone and needles have been found in his home. Its not looking good for Oscar.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 20-Feb-13 16:17:54

Have you been reading the daily mail smuffin? wink

Things are not looking good for the prosecution, I think he might just get bail unless they pull themselves together.

Thinking the same Rhino ...

There just seems to be a whole heap of little nothings piling up ...

PollyFrances Wed 20-Feb-13 16:18:51

"Apparently" (this is the problem with this discussion)

Bue Wed 20-Feb-13 16:20:46

I can certainly understand people wanting to believe him. I would actually like to believe him, but I just can't at this point (I am aware we don't have most of the evidence yet).

I mean, anything in this crazy world is possible, but it makes very little sense that a) an intruder would lock themselves into a toilet and b) you wouldn't check where your "beloved" was, who you were trying to protect. Even in a state of extreme fear, it seems pretty likely that the person most likely to be in the toilet by the bedroom is a person staying in the bedroom, yes? And why would you yell at someone to call the police if you thought they were asleep? You would have to wake them first.

I think he did it in a fit of rage (he clearly has intense anger issues) and is full of regret now. But he is definitely entitled to a fair trial.

PollyFrances Wed 20-Feb-13 16:23:13

I think it is difficult to understand the potential fear some people in SA live in unless you have experienced yourself.

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 16:25:16

Was claimed by the prosecution that the balcony doors were open/unlocked (not clear which- got this info from guardian website as a point not addressed by the defense) but we will have to see whether this info is correct as the case unfolds.

FellatioNels0n Wed 20-Feb-13 16:28:31

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing myself this evening, after watching him standing there in court, head hung, and cameramen getting right close to his face for pictures.

If you are in the media spotlight and you are charge with a crime you have almost no hope of getting a completely fair trial by jury. It would be impossible to find someone who would not be swayed somehow by what they think they know about you, and it seems that there is no limit on how much people are able to publicly speculate on the case when you are considered public property.

Of course, the flip-side is that as a popular figure you are more likely to get away with it because a jury wants to believe that you are innocent, in spite of evidence that might suggest otherwise.

Tricky one all round, really.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 16:30:47

'everyone remembers the Olympics and how ungracious he was in defeat'

'he clearly has intense anger issues'

Words fail me. I'll have to just quote Polly for a bit of sanity:

'I think it is difficult to understand the potential fear some people in SA live in unless you have experienced yourself.'

I'm not a fan and have no reason to believe either way, but at the moment I think I believe his version of events. Simply because if it were lies and he'd made it all up, why not say he was awoken by a sound elsewhere in the house and took the gun from under the bed when he went to investigate. Why leave the glaring hole everyone is picking up on (that he didnt notice the empty bed when he went back for the gun), if its all made up anyway?

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 16:39:12

Re the screaming, I think the prosecution had to concede that the witnesses to this would not be able to exclude the possibility it might have been Oscar's screams they heard. Either that or the defense are saying that this will be the screaming that witnesses heard. Can't remember from the guardian article I read.

Also, witnesses who state they heard arguing were unable to say whether or not they definitely heard the voices of Oscar and Reeva in such an exchange (issues of distance have already been raised).

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 16:42:46

It has been reported that he went to get the fan off the balcony, closed the doors and pulled down the blinds which is reported to make the bedroom dark. Oscar may state that this is why he did not notice Reeva was not in bed, though this does not answer why he did not check/ warn her about the danger they might be in.

mary21 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:47:16

AllI can see is a deeply traumatized young man and a dead young woman. Many wreaked lives, .
I don't know if he killed through fear or rage. I am beginning to think fear. What ever the outcome his life will never be the same. He will never be the golden boy again.
If he doesn't get bail I think the risk of suicide is high

lljkk Wed 20-Feb-13 16:47:28

This terrible incident reinforces that we mustn't have guns in our homes!

Exactly. sad

manticlimactic Wed 20-Feb-13 16:48:49

Didn't he say he shouted before shooting (not sure if it was to Reeva, who he thought was in bed, or to what he thought to be the intruder a warning?). Surely if he had shouted then Reeva would have responded from the bathroom?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 20-Feb-13 16:49:14

Is everyone aware that there's no jury system in RSA? It's all decided by a judge.... who presumably is above being influenced by TV reports and so on.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Wed 20-Feb-13 16:51:48

A point being missed over here but made a big impression in SA today was the fact that he claimed to be living in feAr but slept with his balcony doors open.

That really doesn't pass the sniff test.

Also the prosecution maintain the witness lives 300m, not 600m, away.

The defence lawyer is excellent though.

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 16:54:06

It''s really hard to decide for yourself whether you think his actions are consistent with a belief that there was an intruder in the house. But, posters above have alluded to some observed aggressiveness and gracelessness in defeat (posssibly getting caught up in disappointment and unable control his actions in extreme emotion?). So I suppose this could point to someone who is more likely to be reckless and aggressive in responding to a perceived threat of intruders (i.e. series of shots, not stopping to think who might be behind the door), whereas another person (like me), might be much more defensive, i.e. calling the authorities, defending my position by hiding behind a bedroom door with a suitable weapon if one was to hand. We'll probably never know what happened.

taketheribbon Wed 20-Feb-13 17:04:45

People are asking why an intruder would lock the door...

First, did Oscar actually try the door handle then? How would he have known if the door was locked or not?

Second, if I was an intruder, and thought someone might have realised I was there, and I was a South African intruder and knew that a lot of people owned guns, then I definitely would lock myself into the bathroom.

I'm going with Oscar's story at the moment. I think it was an awful, tragic mistake.

There is no jury system (presumably because a 'jury of your peers' has no meaning in such a divided and racist society) but a judge should be more impartial than a jury and know the law better.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 17:20:05

I hope the judge will be impartial. But they are human too and at least in a jury of 12 there's some kind of inherent checks and balances system.

LastChance, that's very weak indeed and amounts to nothing more than flimsy pop psychology, wild speculation and a serious case of jumping to conclusions along with symptoms of putting two and two together and making a lot of bollocks.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 20-Feb-13 17:26:49

I don't think you will find many world class competitors who are truly graceful in defeat. Some are better at putting on a face than others. Believing you are the best/ unbeatable goes with the territory.

It's a long jump from having a tantrum about not winning a race to shooting your girlfriend dead.

Character witnesses will be more in depth and relevant at trial stage.

He shot dead his girlfriend.

I don't understand giving him the benefit of the doubt.

He murdered a young woman.

Whether it was an 'accident' or deliberate, he deserves years in jail for that.

(I don't believe for a moment that he thought a mute intruder was hiding out in his bathroom)

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 17:35:54

LadyClarice -you are right! Not claiming in any way I'm trying to determine the truth, just trying to understand how believable I feel the different versions of events being put forward are. Because at the moment I'm finding it hard to imagine reacting so recklessly, without due regard appearing to be made to the safety of a loved one, if indeed I was under the impression that there was an intruder in the property.

Was also responding to some of the speculations up thread about Oscar having anger issues -pointing out that this doesn't have to mean it is more likely he killed Reeva.

Just thinking aloud on here -sorry thought we were all speculating to some extent as we don't know the facts! blush

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 17:54:14

Sorry, then, LastChance. I read your post as you agreeing with those who thought his apparent lack of grace in defeat somehow made it more likely that he had murdered Reeva.

I can't imagine reacting so recklessly either, but I am not him, and I don't live in a country with appallingly high violent crimes rates and relatively lax gun controls, or have a public profile, or the kind of wealth and advantages that might make me into a target.

Socrates91 Wed 20-Feb-13 18:00:09

When he heard a noise in the bathroom wouldn't his first thought be it might be his GF instead of an intruder?

When he went for his gun under the mattress why didn't he warn her he thought there was an intruder in the house?

When he shouted at the intruder in the bathroom, how can it be possible that Reeva did not answer?

I find his version of events very odd to say the least.

kim147 Wed 20-Feb-13 18:01:10

I can't believe this is the main news again. It's trial by media.

LastChanceDiner Wed 20-Feb-13 18:14:32

In his opening testimony, Oscar states that it eventually dawned on him that Reeva may have gone to the toilet WHILST he brought the fan in from the balcony -so he may state in the trial that he did observe her to be in bed before going to the balcony and this is why he concluded the noise was an intruder. We'll have to wait and see. He also stresses that he did not have the lights on in the bedroom and had pulled the blinds down -so he may state this is why he did not notice Reeva was not in the bed when he got the gun.

As to why Reeva did not answer when he called out -I'm not sure I would shout out and betray my position to intruders in that situation. So that may be understandable -as has been said upthread.

Agree with you Socrates that it's odd he didn't warn her prior to shouting out.

I hope you would be on the jury if I shot DH four times when he's in the loo...

thezebrawearspurple Wed 20-Feb-13 18:28:33

What I don't get is that he claims to have gotten up in the early hours of the morning to get the fan from the balcony and close the sliding doors. If he was so terrified of intruders that he could shoot an unidentified target through a locked door in a fit of panicked hysteria why the hell would he not have his doors locked up before bed? I live in a very safe country and every house entrance door is locked at night and during the day unless it is open for air when we are in that room.

Secondly, all these people that are saying that it's understandable to shoot someone without first identifying your target because of the fear of crime. I grew up with guns in the house (very rural) and it was always drilled into us (once old enough to be trained); Never ever shoot without first identifying your target, never point your gun at a target you're not prepared to shoot. Anyone dumb enough to shoot blindly is too idiotic to have a gun as they are a greater danger to other household members/visitors than potential intruders.

Of course, the judge will decide whether he truly is that dumb or worse. It's very sad and bizarre.

Bearbehind Wed 20-Feb-13 18:29:08

His story really doesn't add up.

How can he have not noticed Reeva wasn't in bed when he heard the noise in the bathroom, whilst he was still in the bedroom?

Why, if he feared for his safety, did he sleep with the door open?

Why didn't he call out before he shot the 'intruder' who was in a room with no windows, behind a locked door? Whoever it was only had one way out and he had a gun so was in the stronger position.

If he shot her 4 times surely she would have screamed after the first shot so he would have at least known the 'intruder' wasn't a man and might have thought not to shoot anymore.

He then claims he realised what he'd done and bashed the door down with a cricket bat and she was still alive so he carried her downstairs. She must have screamed as not even the 4 shots killed her straight away, let alone the first one.

sudaname Wed 20-Feb-13 18:36:07

One thing that bothers me is that if he is innocent and it was an awful mistake then he has also missed her funeral, on top of losing the woman he loved and having to live with being the cause of it.

But l do think it's a bit odd that he was allegedly shouting her thinking she was in the bed and she didnt answer from behind the toilet door. Sounds more like she locked herself in out of fear or after a row. Of course she could have been deafened by flushing llo or running tap but surely that would make him realise it probably wasnt a burglar and was her. Burglars dont generally use the facilities before getting on with the burgling !

But if everything was dandy and you were in the loo and your DP shouted you from outside several times l think most women would answer even if it's a ' fgs ,l'm in the loo - l cant even have a pee in peace' - or words to that effect.
Or if he shouted 'who is it?' or 'come out of there', all things being equal you would expect a reply of 'lt's me yer daft bugger' or ilk.

But l wasnt there, so.....

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 18:42:34

Bearbehind - I agree that the weaker parts of his story are that he left the door open despite being wary of intruders and also why she didn't cry out but I think he has given answers for some of your other queries (whether one believes them or not is a different matter...)

- he believes that she was in bed when he got up. She must have got up and slipped into the bathroom whilst he was retrieving the fan, so when he heard the noise from the bathroom, it didn't cross his mind that it was her as he'd just left her in bed. And he didn't see because it was dark.

- I'm pretty sure that he says that he did call out to the intruder. I guess that his argument re shooting first will be based around the vulnerability of being on his stumps plus the general climate of fear in SA. Maybe the defence argument will be that she didn't perhaps respond initially as she thought then that there was an intruder once he called out (not realising that he meant the person in the bathroom ie her). Not sure how they'll argue why she didn't call out when hit by the first shot. Maybe that the first one hit her in the head? Poor woman.

Not saying that these assertions are in any way water-tight, just putting forward the answers that he has given to some of these questions.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 18:44:55

sudaname - but if he shouted, "Reeva, there's an intruder, call the police" - maybe she'd think that there was, and just not realise that he meant her. God knows. It's a fucking mess. I realise that I am sounding like I'm defending him whatever here - and I'm not. But something (I'm not sure what) makes me think that he's telling the truth

oldraver Wed 20-Feb-13 18:47:19

I think he has a right to a fair unprejuduced trial, but he picked up a gun pointed it at some one and fired it, which resulted in someones death. He has to take responsibility for that not matter what the circumstances

Do you think the witness was lying?

I agree old raver.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 18:54:48

I don't know about the witness - but there certainly seems to be some confusion - eg hearing 6 shots when there was only 4 etc. If the defence are right and the witness was 600 m away then I think they can't be relied on in this instance.

I still think he will be convicted. And I still don't think he is innocent in any event, obviously - he killed her and he intended to kill someone. But at the moment, I'm tending to believe him and wonder if in SA, the thought that you might be acting in self-defence is enough to qualify for self-defence and therefore mean manslaughter rather than murder. He'll surely get convicted of that at the least, but I suspect that he'll get convicted of murder. The press seem to be already there.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 18:58:06

eek - not sure if self-defence (or perceived self-defence) reduces murder to manslaughter anyway (in the UK - certainly don't have a clue in SA) or is just a defence on it's own. It's a long time since my law school days!

I agree oldraver. I don't think he's trying to shirk responsibility for what happened though - he admits that he did it. He just argues that it wasn't pre-meditated.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 18:58:38

It's legal to shoot someone in self-defence in SA, isn't it?

Bearbehind Wed 20-Feb-13 19:03:00

lego I've just read about him saying he called out on the news website too but that still doesn't make sense to me. If he called out, surely she would have answered, even to tell him to leave her alone cos she was on the loo?

It doesn't ring true to me but luckily the man making the decision will ave all the facts, unlike me!

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 19:03:01

but if it wasn't really self-defence, but just perceived self-defence (this is on the basis that his story is completely true) - is that the same? Not sure if it would just reduce his sentence to manslaughter. Dunno. I'm jumping several steps ahead here.

One thing that I do know is that his mildly petulant comments at the paralympics are nothing more than most of us could be prone to from time to time and to make the leap from that (as some have done - mainly in the press rather than here - ie "we saw his dark side") to premediated murder is even more preposterous than Oscar's story!!

Growlithe Wed 20-Feb-13 19:10:53

I find it really odd that every single statement in court is being relayed live on Twitter by loads of reporters.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, courts have always had reporters I suppose. It just seems weird that everything is being reported in real time, and therefore in minute detail.

Also, the bail hearing seems really long and almost like the real trial. But I know nothing of SA law (ad not that much of UK law either if I'm honest).

Maryz Wed 20-Feb-13 19:12:58

If he thought it was an intruder he wouldn't have called out "Is that you Reeva?", he would have called out "there's an intruder in the house, call the police" or whatever.

If she was in bed she wouldn't have answered, she wouldn't have wanted to draw attention to herself.

If she was in the bathroom, she would have hunkered down, thinking the intruder was in the main house.

Either way, she might not have answered.

I don't know.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 19:15:54

Bearbehind - but if she was in the loo and thought he was calling out about an intruder elsewhere then she might have kept quiet to not alert said "intruder" to her location.

As I said upthread, I screamed in shock a few weeks ago, when, getting up, and tiptoeing to the loo, leaving DP asleep (so I thought), I got a real shock when he was sat - in silence (even when I walked in the bathroom) on the loo, in the dark. I would have sworn he was in bed. And I guess that for OP it's even more so (if he's telling the truth) in that she was in bed when he got up, and she just got up when he was moving the fan. The difference is I didn't shoot DP! I'm not on the alert for burglars, I don't have gun etc etc. The point I'm making is that it's really easy to be completely mistaken/disorientated in the night about someone's presence. That in no way excuses what he did but it's the one thing that I do find totally plausible about his story. Particularly if she did get up after he did.

Other aspects, I'm yet to be convinced on - but that, I do find plausible.

Normally I'm a huge advocate of trial by jury. I think though that in this current media climate, and the laxity of the contempt laws in SA, it's probably fairer that it's just one judge (that's slightly circular, in that I understand that the reason the contempt laws are more relaxed is because it's a judge - and less likely to be influenced).

Socrates91 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:18:09

I think that's just harmless speculation LegoWidow though. People will make connections wherever they can. I wouldn't pay too much attention into it.

sudaname Wed 20-Feb-13 19:19:43

Yeah that's true Lego never thought of that only started reading thread properly after posting . yes it is a mess and very very sad whatever the outcome, for her family and his for that matter.

In murder cases often the accused or guilty parties parents and family are forgotten and all sympathy is focused on the victim and their family. But how awful must it be for parents of the accused in cases like this and his siblings, the sorrow and worry, not to mention the stigma must be horrendous.

I have a handsome but l am biased very athletic son, does triathlons , marathons etc. and is a similiar age to Oscar. It must be heartbreaking and l cant bear to think about how l would feel if it was my son in the dock.

I remember years ago l lived in Ireland and there was a case where a young man killed another young man in a fight and on the steps of the courtroom after the guilty verdict the father of the victim saw the father of the killer visibly distraught and went over and hugged and comforted him.
When asked later why and how he managed to find it in him he said he saw him and his heart just went out to him and he realised he had also lost a son that day.

Socrates91 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:20:39

^ my previous comment about people mentioning his "dark side" being revealed at the Paralympics.

ohthedandy Wed 20-Feb-13 19:33:08

For me, it will all hinge on whether there is any proper evidence of DV in this relationship or previous ones to support his having a reason (to him) to kill her. Wondering why he didn't do this or that doesn't mean anything - we are not him and we were not there. What Even what other people think they would do isn't necessarily what they would do if faced with exactly the same situation.

Thisis - I don't agree that whether 'accident' or deliberate, OP deserves years in jail. I had a look at the Visagie case which has been mentioned (maybe on another or previous thread). Visagie shot what he thought was a car thief driving his daughter's car away from their house - no threat to him or his family (real or imagined) - just didn't want to lose the car presumably. Tragically it was in fact the daughter taking the car for an early morning drive. She died. Visagie was charged with murder but the charges were subsequently dropped on humanitarian grounds, as he obviously had no intent to kill his daughter and presumably the authorities felt her death was punishment enough.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 19:40:20

Socrates - yes, you are right.

Sudaname - I know what you mean - whilst obv main sympathies are with Reeva and her family - I do feel huge sympathy for (Oscar - if his story is true - and) the Pistorius family. The 3 siblings seem really close. The journalists yesterday reported that his brother Carl was kneeling on the floor yesterday in order to be able to reach forward far enough to be able to touch him during proceedings, and today he was sat in front with the defence lawyers helping with the lines of questioning.

I do want to add one more thing...
A lot of people are commenting on him not being worried about sleeping with the doors open. Any time I've been in a hot country, there have been shutters on the doors so they can be left open but not open. When I read he got up to shut the door, I assumed he had shutters...?

AmIthatWintry Wed 20-Feb-13 19:58:21

I was a fan, but that doesn't blind me to the fact that he killed his girlfriend and deserves to be on trial for it.

Whether Oscar is guilty or not of premeditated murder remains to be seen, and if convicted, he deserves everything he gets.

The tweets from court are extremely interesting though, yet not really being reported on in a consistent way.

News headlines are sensationalised, leading with the prosecutions allegation, with the defence rebuttals coming later - after we've read and taken in the headlines.

The police officer in charge and his evidence were, by all accounts, ripped apart by the defence advocate, although I'm not hearing that in the news reports

Someone upthread stated he "clearly" had anger issues. Other poster have made what appear to be factual comments about him and this murder.

Where are such assertions coming from?

I am not defending him - I can't possibly do that, as I don't know any of the facts - but nor am I advocating locking him up and throwing away the key, based on media speculation.

of course, by the time the trial comes around, the media speculation could be well backed up with evidence, but I'd rather wait for that.

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 20:09:22

AmIThatWintry - yes, that's kind of how I feel. Not disputing that he should be on trial. He killed her.

It's been a real insight for me though - reading the tweets from court on how the defence ripped the investigating officer's story to shreds and then not seeing the news stories reflecting that.

e.g re testosterone. The headline in the Evening Standard is about him being found with testosterone and talks in length about that - but then adds almost as an aside that the defence stated what it actually was, that the prosecution admit that they haven't tested it - and doesn't even mention that the lead investigating officer admitted that he hadn't even read the label properly yet had put as part of the case that it was testosterone (even if the lab results hadn't come back yet - shouldn't he at least have read the label properly and looked up what that was?!). Now I'm sure that it will be tested and the court will know either way in due course - but even "respectable" papers (Independent etc) are focusing on the prosecution assertion without really mentioning the defence

LegoWidow Wed 20-Feb-13 20:10:12

I don't know why it surprises me that the papers are sensationalistic!

JillJ72 Wed 20-Feb-13 20:23:35

We won't know the truth until the trial, so we won't know for sure if media reports from the weekend are warranted, although am sceptical.... Trying to keep an open mind somewhat, but when you see the media doing such a good job of contradicting themselves and reporting selectively to feed public perception, well, they're not doing their profession any favours.

South African cases are decided by a judge (who rules on law) and two assessors (who decide facts). This is not only more common worldwide than the jury system but is preferable as the assessors will be trained in the law of evidence and (unlike the average UK juror) know what to ignore. Nothing to do with racism. It also explains why there has been so much public comment allowed by the Court- no daft jurors to confuse.

Just to add- my in-laws are South African. None of them carry guns or, to my knowledge, keep them in the house. They say there are few worse ways to protect oneself. By the way, Britain and British people have nothing to teach South Africans about race relations.

HollyBerryBush Thu 21-Feb-13 08:00:25

Call me a cynic - but the investigating officer suddenly has a case of attempted murder reopened against him this morning?

What amazing and coincidental timing!

ohthedandy Thu 21-Feb-13 08:24:27

I don't think it has been reopened this morning - it has been confirmed this morning - the Officer is due in court in May. I just don't understand how can someone in that situation is not under suspension?

BMW6 Thu 21-Feb-13 09:07:40

I am appalled by the suggestion that he should be given the benefit of the doubt

That phrase is totally inappropriate to the magnitude of this offence. A person has been shot to death, not "accidentally" removed goods from a shop without paying for them!!!

FFSangry

Jins Thu 21-Feb-13 11:56:46

Does anyone know what Testocompasutium Co-Enzyme actually is or where it could be bought. The only references I can find on google are in relation to this case

Hulababy Thu 21-Feb-13 12:13:12

In England a fair trial and benefit of doubt go hand in hand. You are found guilty if it is beyond all reasonable doubt after all.

kimorama Thu 21-Feb-13 12:17:25

The law in south africa may be different. But you would not get away for shooting a burglar through a door in this country.

KellyElly Thu 21-Feb-13 13:00:15

One thing I wondered is why you would leave a fan on your balcony? Surely on hot nights you'd have it in your bedroom plugged in ready to get up and turn on if it got too hot. That's what I do in the summer anyway. Not speculating either way but just seems a bit odd.

TheSmallClanger Thu 21-Feb-13 13:23:32

Someone said upthread that they needed to know more about the domestic violence allegations before they made their mind up properly. I am the same.

At the moment, the story he is telling more or less makes sense, when put in its context. The witness statements alluded to which describe screaming and rows have not been put into enough of a context for me to think about them properly. For example, did the concerned party call the police? Where were they? I would need some sort of explanation of why someone would hear screaming and gunshots, yet not take any action.

Ditto, the hints about domestic violence and previous police visits. Did they relate to Reeva and Oscar, or to other parties? What was meant to have happened? Who actually summoned the police? When did they occur? If a previous partner gives a definite account saying that he was violent/abusive to her, I will believe her, but now, I can't make anything of what we've been told.

olgaga Thu 21-Feb-13 13:30:20

Can I point something out? This is not a trial - it's a bail hearing.

The trial will probably be in about 4 months when all the forensics, evidence and witness statements have been collected and analysed.

Also, the reason they don't have jury trials in SA is because there are 11 different first languages.

TheSmallClanger Thu 21-Feb-13 13:34:53

The stuff I mentioned is important in assessing whether he's a danger or not: there's a massive difference in risk between paranoid protectivist and misogynist killer.

olgaga Thu 21-Feb-13 14:01:33

That's not the issue though.

Someone was killed, by a man ready to arm himself and shoot through a locked toilet door, killing whoever was inside. It isn't an issue of whether or not it was domestic violence, or even self-defence.

The only issue for the bail hearing is "Was it pre-meditated?".

If it was, he doesn't get bail.

If it wasn't, he'll probably get bail.

I was mulling this over and I've realised that the reason I think he is guilty is Occam's razor. You hear hooves you think horses not zebras. A sadly deceased woman in a bathroom and a BF with a gun, you think DV you don't think intruder, who he heard, who was actually his GF, who had got up while he was closing windows, which were open even though he is so scared of intruders he has a gun...

However, the SA posters are saying that maybe there are more 'zebras' in SA. More people have guns, more people are fearful of intruders.

I still think I hear horses. How many women get killed by their partners? I know there are cases where people have accidentally killed their family members but they are a tiny, tiny proportion compared to all the women who are killed deliberately.

runningforthebusinheels Thu 21-Feb-13 15:24:38

MrsTerryPratchett - yes I hear horses too. Great post.

Legowidow, I've also been surprised at the amount of media coverage allowed by the court. In the UK, media comment is tightly constrained to avoid influencing any future jury, ie, they might decide on the basis of media comment rather than the evidence. This isn't a problem in SA as the court assessors will ignore such things.

greenfern Thu 21-Feb-13 19:56:01

i truly hope that there is a fair trial. Especially for Reeva's family whom have lost a beautiful daughter.

HollyBerryBush Thu 21-Feb-13 21:14:48

I didn't realise, until talking to a SA friend (and the whole thing came up in convo) that RSA is a corrupt country and bribes are the norm.

So, as I said on day one as the news broke, he'll be acquitted, regardless, because he can afford it.

Attny Thu 21-Feb-13 21:22:43

Oscar...please dry your croc tears and tell the court:

1. why if you are innocent and it was all a "tragic accident" (though how can that be when you shot to kill no matter who it was) did you not take the stand to allow for a cross-exam instead of just filing an affadavit?

2. how did you manage to go and find your fan and then hearing a noise find your gun by your bed in the pitch black but not see your GF was not in the bed (based on your account you thought she was fast asleep in bed)

3. how you managed to so accurately shoot her in the pitch black?

4. why did you not call out in the bathroom..."Reeva honey is that you?", before getting your gun off FOUR times?

5. why in the midst of your grief in jail you told your brother to go and find a memory stick with details of off shore funds so soon after the shooting

6. why in the midst of your grief you had the wherewithal to see your agent as one of your early visitors...well I guess all those endorsements were at stake.

7. why are so so trigger happy when you lived on a heavily guarded secure compund and not in some isolated farmhouse?

8 Who really believes in their heart of hearts that someone would immediately assume they have a burglar in their house (to all accounts never having been burgled before) when they hear a noise in the toilet instead of assuming it must be thier GF who is staying over night after night ...and then shoots the person to death in their tiny space through a closed door without once checking it is her !!!

Let's wait for the trial and forensics and the independent witness statements to come out ...but smart alec legal gin for hire and your good looks and PR spin should not be a get out of jail card for murder

Corruption is significantly worse in SA than in most Western countries but I don't think there are grounds to believe that a bribe could secure an aquittal in a murder trial. The judicial system in SA, compared to average standards, is pretty robust and definitely preferable to, say southern or eastern Europe.

Btw, the SA criminal standard of proof is beyond reasonable doubt. Not sure how that applies to the question of whether or not an accused should be granted bail.

Doubletroublemummy2 Thu 21-Feb-13 21:37:33

the facts are that he did kill her, he has admitted that. the question is wether he did by accident or deliberatly, hmm yes he should and will get a fair trial and the images currently being shown are only his bail hearing not the trial. But there seem to be alot of holes in his story, we will see,... i just can't understand why anyone anywhere, let alone in south africa,would go to bed at night Knowling a ladder is propped up at an unsecured window,... thats just for starters

Doubletroublemummy2 Thu 21-Feb-13 21:41:06

As a SA ex thats highley presumtive and offensive

Attny Thu 21-Feb-13 21:50:06

He didn't shoot anyone by accident ....he took his gun and shot to kill without warning ...that is planned ...what he claims was his mistake was the identity of the victim...but even if his account is to be believed ..(implausible as it is) he basically executed someone in cold blood without even a glimpse of them...and yes if he is so paranoid that he thinks any noise in his bathroom is a threat to his life why leave the balcony open all night? And would his GF also really fumble to the toilet in the pitch black and lock the door at 3 am? His mask has slipped in the past and that will be used against him in the trial...obsession with guns...machine gun on his wish list ...threatening behaviour ...if he was an ordinary black man in SA who had shot his GF 4 times and claimed he thought she was an intruder ...no one but no one would be arguing he should get bail and say aww give him the benefit of the doubt at this stage and commenting on how devastating it must be for him as the killer

I agree atny. I find the sympathy for him quite bizarre.

NumericalMum Thu 21-Feb-13 22:27:50

I really feel for Reeva's family. And I really wish Oscar hadn't brought all this awful negative publicity to South Africa. A country that can do without bad press. All very easy to play judge and jury from our nice easy lives in a nice first world country. Shooting people without warning is legal in some states in the US. Not all South Africans carry guns. Just like not all Americans would shoot someone. Gun licenses are extremely hard to get.

Rip Reeva.

Attny Thu 21-Feb-13 22:38:42

Agree NM about the bad publicity for SA and SA being such a damgerous place will be played up in his defence to say he is normal to be so paranoid and react to a noise in the toilet the way he did...and would you think an American boasting about having a machine gun is a normal person by comparision to normal society......he did that in an article...even if he does not actually have one but applied for a licence for one...that is kind of sick isn't it ..I wonder if the "bullet in the chamber catch phrase" in the Nike ad came from the man himself?

SavoirFaire Thu 21-Feb-13 23:20:31

There are some great posts here, on all 'sides', which have really made me think. Most compelling argument above for me is why Reeva would have locked the door if just nipping for a quick wee in the night especially when you look at the layout of the bedroom suite which is now online. In my house (where the bathroom is not remotely tucked away), I often don't even shut the door, never mind lock it. I realise this isn't forensic or indisputable evidence, but when you think about the events and general behaviour, that seems very odd.

Last night I heard a noise in the middle of the night and convinced myself in my dopey state that it was an intruder. I called out to my husband and said "there's someone in the house". I totally get that in the middle of the night, woken from sleep, you can feel disorientated and irrational (although just woken from slumber is different from having been up, wandering about and getting the fan etc). I totally forgot for a moment that there are two other people in my house who are fully capable of getting up in the night and wandering around. I'm glad I live in a place where we don't have guns and the immediate instinct (which some people think is reasonable) is to shoot out in that scenario. If that was the culture, my four year old might not be here this morning. I live in an area where there have been 3 murders within a 5 minute walk of my house in the last 18 months and I totally understand fear of intruders (I have disturbed burglers - most probably armed - in my house) and of weapons.

In the UK context, the test of murder is mens rea, actus rea. Deliberate thought, deliberate act. Both were present. He intended to kill. Who he intended to kill is irrelevant in some ways. Feel very sorry for Reeva's family and very sad that an amazing story of an amazing man (his other achievements do stand at the moment) has such a sad ending. The fact there is no jury trial in SA (I did not know this before today) is fascinating and does make many of the concerns about media preventing a fair trial much less relevant.

cory Fri 22-Feb-13 00:01:51

The cases (in America and elsewhere) where people have been acquitted for shooting loved ones instead of suspected intruders have not normally involved people who knew loved ones were on the premises.

Fair enough if you believe you are alone, hear a noise and think "intruder". But if you know that your girlfriend is in the house, hear a noise from the one place people usually get up to go to in the night and then think "intruder" and shoot without stopping to reconsider, that is a little bit worrying.

If you get that disorientated and do not stop to deal with your disorientation, it is a question of whether you can safely be left at large.

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