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Pistorius breaks down

Pretoria: South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius broke down and sobbed in the witness stand on Tuesday, as he described the moments when he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, thinking she was an intruder hiding in the toilet.

“That’s the moment that everything changed,” he said, his voice tense with emotion. “I thought that there was a burglar that was gaining entry to my home.”

Grabbing a 9mm pistol lying under the bed, he moved on his stumps down the passageway leading from the bedroom towards the bathroom and the would-be intruders, he testified. According to his account, as he held the pistol in his right hand and stretched to check, he noticed the bathroom window was open, confirming his worst fears.

“I wasn’t sure where to point the firearm,” he said. “My eyes were going between the windows and the toilet. I stood for some time.

“I just stayed where I was and kept on screaming. Then I heard a noise from inside the toilet that I perceived to be somebody coming out of the toilet. Before I knew it, I had fired four shots at the door.”

If found guilty of murder, he faces life in prison.