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Friday 19 September 2014

Agent tells court he saw Pistorius lose his temper

Aislinn Laing

Published 02/07/2014 | 02:30

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South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius greets a well wisher during his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius greets a well wisher during his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Oscar Pistorius leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa. The murder trial resumed Monday, after one month during which mental health experts evaluated the athlete and determined  he did not have  an anxiety disorder that could have influenced his actions on the night he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Oscar Pistorius leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa. The murder trial resumed Monday, after one month during which mental health experts evaluated the athlete and determined he did not have an anxiety disorder that could have influenced his actions on the night he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

An attempt by Oscar Pistorius's defence team to cast the athlete in a more sympathetic light by calling his agent to the stand backfired during cross examination by the prosecution.

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The defence called Peet van Zyl to describe the Paralympian's loving relationship with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and his particular fear of crime that might have led him to shooting her through a locked lavatory door in the belief that an intruder was in his house.

Although Mr van Zyl confirmed Pistorius' sensitivity about the threat of crime, he was quizzed by the state prosecutor, Mr Nel, on several incidents when Pistorius lost his temper, a fillip for the prosecution as they cannot bring forward character witnesses themselves.

Mr van Zyl said he had seen the Paralympian lose his temper twice and that it probably happened more frequently.

Mr Nel asked Mr van Zyl why he had not mentioned Mr Pistorius' widely-reported outburst at the London Paralympics, accusing Alan Oliveira of having the unfair advantage of longer blades after he was beaten in the 200-metre race.

He replied that he did not mention the "unfortunate" episode because he was not in London at the time. His cross-examination continues tomorrow. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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