Updated: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:30:00 GMT | By AFP

Pistorius breaks down, forcing trial adjournment

Pistorius was recalling the moment he discovered he had shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead


Pistorius testifies about relationship with Reeva Steenkamp (© AFP)

Pretoria: Sobbing uncontrollably, Oscar Pistorius gave a harrowing account Tuesday of the moment he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, before breaking down in court, forcing the judge to adjourn his murder trial.

Overwrought, the star athlete described how in the dead of night on Valentine's Day 2013 he heard a noise and rushed to his bathroom with his gun, believing there was an intruder in his home.

"Then I heard a noise from inside the toilet, what I perceived to be someone coming out of the toilet," Pistorius said, unable to fight back the tears.

"Before I knew it I'd fired four shots at the door," he said, his voice cracking with anguish.

Pistorius is on trial facing a life sentence for deliberating murdering Steenkamp, a charge he denies.

"My ears were ringing, I didn't hear anything," Pistorius continued. He shouted for Steenkamp to phone the police, and rushed back into the room.

"I kept on shouting for Reeva."

When she did not respond Pistorius said he realised he may have made a terrible mistake and rushed back to the bathroom to break down the door.

There, he found her fatally injured.

"I sat over Reeva," the athlete testified sobbing loudly and putting his head in his hands and before letting out the barely intelligible cry, "she wasn't breathing".

After a brief adjournment, his lawyer Barry Roux came back to say his client was in no state to continue.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday.

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