Oscar Pistorius may a tearful apology to the family of the woman he is charged with murdering, stuttering and appearing grief-stricken as he commenced his evidence.
The apology to the Steenkamp family began with Pistorius saying:
“I will start my evidence by tendering an apology,” he said. “I would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Steenkamp, her family and friends.”
“I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness I have caused you and your family.
“You’re the first people I think of when I wake up. You’re the first people I pray for. I was trying to protect Reeva. When she went to bed that night, she felt loved.
“I’ve tried to put my pen to paper many times to write to you but no words would ever suffice.”
Pistorius also revealed that he has been taking anti-depressants since the accident happened, and other medication to help him sleep at night, The Independent reported.
“I’m scared to sleep,” he said tearfully. “I have terrible nightmares about what happened that night. I can smell blood. I wake up terrified.”
Formerly a firearm enthusiast, Pistorius said he “never wants to be a near a firearm again”, and told the court of one occasion when he woke in a panic in the middle of the night, and hid in a cupboard, and telephoned his sister who came round to comfort him.
“I climbed into a cupboard and I phoned my sister to come and sit by me, which she did for a while,” he said. “I’m just in a complete state of terror. I fall asleep and wake up like that.”
He continued by talking through his childhood, telling a story of how his mother, who died when he was 15, was called to his school after a fight with another boy who had been bullying him and who had ripped his shirt.
“My mother said ‘It’s right that you should stand up for what you believe.’ She said she won’t be back. And she gave the shirt to the [other boy’s] mother, and said to bring it back when it was mended.”
He told the court his mother kept a gun under her pillow and the family had often been exposed to crime growing up in South Africa. He witnessed numerous break-ins, was attacked at a party and claimed to have been followed by a car into his gated community and shot on the highway.
“My mother had a lot of security concerns. We grew up in a family where my father wasn’t around much so my mother had a pistol,” he told the court.
“She would often get scared at night so she would call the police – we didn’t stay in the best of suburbs. She kept her firearm under her bed, under her pillow in a padded leather type of bag.”
See More at The Independent.