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Nel has to do more, says Roux

Pretoria - Defence advocate Barry Roux told the High Court in Pretoria that there were discrepancies between the number of “shots” heard by Oscar Pistorius’s neighbours.

He said that the State had ignored the first sounds and the cricket bat in its closing argument.

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock. Picture: Themba Hadebe. Credit: REUTERS

He devoted a lot of time after the mid-morning tea break to looking at the various times that neighbours had said they heard shots and/or the sounds of the cricket bat hitting the door.

The State’s contention was that the shots happened at 3.17am, whereas Roux contends that the shots were at 3.12am and the bat was heard hitting the door at 3.17am. The sounds of screaming were Pistorius calling for help between those two sounds, Roux said.

He said that it did not make sense for Pistorius to scream for “help” before shooting Steenkamp, as claimed by one of the State's witnesses.

Roux insisted this was most likely Pistorius shouting at the intruders to get out of the bathroom, as he said in his evidence in chief.

He added that the State had not relied on the testimony of the neighbours living closest to Pistorius, who corroborated his version, instead choosing to take the testimony of those much further away.

He urged the court to look at all probabilities that the State had ignored and could not provide an explanation for, adding that State prosector Gerrie Nel had to do more than raising “slight possibilities and add them together to come to a conclusion”.

Roux said that at least Pistorius's version fitted with timeline that had been constructed by both the State and defence, and was not the “crumbling mosaic” or “baton drop” as Nel had described it on Thursday.

He also addressed the State's suggestion that food matter found in Steenkamp's stomach meant she had eaten shortly before her death, contradicting Pistorius's version that the couple were asleep before he heard the alleged intruder.

Roux said that State pathologist Professor Gert Saayman had admitted that determining such a time frame was an inexact science, and that it was unlikely that an athlete and a model would decide to eat in the middle of the night.

Roux told Judge Thokozile Masipa that court officials where human beings and they had to use logic.

“I don't know if the deceased when the accused was sleeping felt hungry and had something to eat... We just don't know.”

He said the thought that an athlete and a model would go to bed rather than eat their food and then come downstairs at 1am to eat it did not make sense.

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