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Oscar Pistorius trial: Court hears closing statement from defence

8 August 2014
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Oscar Pistorius' lawyer has told his murder trial that because of his disability the athlete had a "slow burn of insecurities" that "heightened his fight response". In his closing statements to the court Barry Roux said that just as a woman might kill an abusive husband after many years, so the Paralympian has built up an exaggerated response to danger.

oscar pistorius © Photo: Getty Images

He pleaded with Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa to consider his actions in the context of his lifelong disability. "Don't look at (that night) in isolation," he said. This is his last chance to convince the judge of his client's innocence. The athlete has claimed that he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.

On Thursday for the first time both Reeva's father and Oscar's were in court for proceedings. For the last few years the champion sprinter has been estranged from his father Henke, but on Friday they embraced before sitting down.

Barry Steenkamp has been absent for most of the trial after suffering a stroke in February, which his family blamed on the stress of the situation.

henke pistorius © Photo: Getty Images

On Friday, Mr Roux conceded that his client was "guilty of negligence" on the charge related to an incident in a restaurant separate from Reeva's shooting. On that occasion Oscar's gun went off as he showed it to a friend. "He's guilty, m'lady, guilty on the first alternative, he negligently used that firearm," his lawyer said. However, he still insists it is not clear if the gun was working properly and that the athlete had never avoided blame.

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