Oscar Pistorius breaks down, case adjourned

The matter will resume in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Oscar Pistorius wipes his face during his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria on 7 April 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Murder accused Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday broke down in court as he described the moments after he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

The state accuses him of murdering his girlfriend but the athlete claims he thought an intruder had broken into his home.

Pistorius also faces gun-related charges in connection with two separate shooting incidents, one from a moving vehicle and another at a crowded northern Johannesburg restaurant.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges during his first appearance on 3 March.

As a result of his breakdown, proceedings were adjourned in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The matter will resume on Wednesday morning.

The 27-year-old described the dramatic moments when he first though an intruder was in his Silver Woods Country Estate home in Pretoria East and how he shot through the toilet door.

Picture: Carte Blanche.

Pistorius said he was terrified when he opened fire on the bathroom door.

He then claimed he screamed out to Steenkamp to call the police and made his way back to bed.

After realising she was not in bed, the athlete said he searched for the model.

"I retreated back to the point where I got to the corner of the bed and I put my hand out on the bed and I tried to lift myself up whilst talking to Reeva. Nobody responded to me."

The 'Blade Runner' also told the court about when he found out he had made a fatal mistake.

"I think it was at that point, my lady, that it first dawned upon me that it could be Reeva that was in the bathroom. I jumped out the other side of the bed and I ran my hand around the curtain to see that she wasn't hiding behind the curtain."

"Whilst I lent in over the partition to get in, I saw the key. So I took it and I unlocked the door and flung the door open and I sat over Reeva and I cried. I don't know how long I was there for. She wasn't breathing."

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete shot his 29-year-old girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year.