26 Mar 2014

Texts 'loving' - Pistorius defence

9:01 am on 26 March 2014

The lawyer for Oscar Pistorius, the South African athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend, has denied claims the couple were unhappy.

Barry Roux emphasised that among hundreds of "loving" text messages, only four showed signs of arguments, the BBC reports.

He made his case while cross-examining a police captain who had given evidence about the couple's mobile phones.

Oscar Pistorius on trial.

Oscar Pistorius on trial. Photo: AFP

Mr Pistorius denies deliberately shooting Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013, saying he thought she was an intruder.

The prosecution has now ended its case and the trial has been adjourned until Friday after the defence requested the break to to consult witnesses not called by the state.

One of the defence lawyer's, Brian Webber, said it was "likely" that Mr Pistorius would take the stand.

The 27-year-old athlete's defence requested the the break to consult witnesses not called by the state.

AFP reports Mr Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux argued on Tuesday that the sprinter had a loving relationship with Reeva Steenkamp.

The court heard evidence from a prosecution witness on Monday that Ms Steenkamp was sometimes afraid of her boyfriend.

But the defence drew attention to messages in which the couple used pet names such as "angel" and "baba", and presented CCTV footage of the pair kissing.

"You are an amazing person with so many blessings and you are more than cared for," Ms Steenkamp told Mr Pistorius on 13 February via messaging service WhatsApp the day before she died.

The athlete told her, "stay tonight if you like" as part of the exchange of messages read out in court on Tuesday.

The model and law graduate had planned to cook Mr Pistorius dinner on Valentine's Day but was shot dead by the athlete in the early hours of the morning.

Police technology expert Francois Moller gave details of the couple's phone records, which revealed several calls were made from the sprinter's phone in quick succession after the shooting.

The first call was at 3.19am on 14 February to a manager at his residential estate in Pretoria and an ambulance and his estate security were then telephoned.

A friend was called at 3.55am, then Pistorius's brother Carl, and finally Peet Van Zyl, his long-time manager.

Mr Roux argued that only four conversations were highlighted as argumentative out of more than 1700 entries between the pair.

"There was a disagreement, unhappiness but if you look at the messages, it was resolved very quickly," he told the court.

More than 90 percent of about 1700 messages between the two were affectionate, police technology expert Francois Moller testified on Monday, while highlighting a few that cast some doubt on the relationship.

"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you react to me," Ms Steenkamp told the sprinter less than three weeks before her death after he apparently accused her of flirting with another man.