The defence team of Oscar Pistorius is reportedly trying to reinforce its case that the Paralympic sprinter fatally shot his girlfriend in a tragic error of judgment by using witness accounts of a panicked Pistorius begging for help and his desperate pleas for Reeva Steenkamp to stay alive.
The disabled runner, who shot four times through a toilet cubicle door with his 9mm pistol and hit Steenkamp in the hip, arm and head, claimed he thought she was a dangerous intruder in the cubicle in his darkened bathroom.
According to News.com.au, Johan Stander and his daughter, neighbours of Pistorius, testified that they were at the runner's villa soon after the shooting on February 14 last year, and that Pistorius was praying, trying to help Steenkamp breathe and urging her to live.
Stander testified that Pistorius phoned him at around 3.19am - about two minutes after the shooting, after which Pistorius told him he had thought Steenkamp was an intruder and shot her and that Stander and his daughter went to Pistorius' house after the world-famous runner pleaded for him to come and help.
The report mentioned the defence was trying to underline its scenario that Pistorius was emotionally distressed after shooting Steenkamp by mistake.
The testimonies from the neighbours began the seventh week of proceedings in the globally televised trial, which resumed after a two-week recess, the report added.