‘We broke up after he cheated with Reeva’

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MEDIA POOL

Oscar Pistorius greets members of the ANC's Women's League during tea break at the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Theana Breugem

Pretoria - After a short adjournment because eighth witness Samantha Taylor had broken down in tears, she returned to the stand somewhat more composed.

Earlier, Taylor, one of Oscar Pistorius's ex-girlfriends, had told High Court in Pretoria that Pistorius had shouted at her, her friends and family on multiple occasions.

Defence Advocate Barry Roux has told several witnesses that the sounds of a woman screaming on the night Reeva Steenkamp was shot belonged to Pistorius in an agitated state.

But Taylor insisted that Pistorius could never be mistaken for a woman when agitated and shouting, which the defence has argued since the start of trial.

She then told the court that Pistorius and her had broken up twice, the second time because Pistorius had cheated on her with Steenkamp.

The first time he cheated on her was during a trip to London where he went on a date with a woman named Anastasia.

Taylor said they broke up again in November 2012 when Pistorius took Steenkamp to a sports awards ceremony.

When the sunroof incident occurred, she claimed to still be in an official relationship with Pistorius.

She said, with a shaky voice, that they had been having problems within their relationship, but were still together.

When dating him, she was living in Dainfern in Joburg.

Taylor described Pistorius's bedroom as very dark in the evenings, meaning limited visibility when the curtains were closed.

Roux said that Taylor had only heard Pistorius shouting out of anger, and not in fear or in a situation where his life would be in danger.

Roux told the court that Pistorius was receiving treatment on his shoulder that meant at the time of Steenkamp's death, he had been sleeping on the left side of the bed. But Taylor testified that when they were dating, Pistorius slept on the right side.

Roux then asked about Pistorius' mobility without his prosthetics, and Taylor said he could walk on his stumps but generally needed something to balance on.

The lawyer argued that Pistorius was generally quite vulnerable, especially without his prosthetics. Taylor did not confirm this, but said he carried a gun because he knew about possible dangers.

Taylor then said Pistorius would always leave his work cellphone in the kitchen, while his personal device stayed by his bed.

But Roux said that Pistorius would say this was not always the case.

Taylor said that when she was with him, Pistorius never kept his firearm under his bed, as he said he had on the night Steenkamp was shot.

Roux asked about how Taylor felt when she and Pistorius broke up. She once again began crying, leading to a short adjournment.

Taylor's love life was next to be questioned by the defence.

Roux asked Taylor if she had ever cheated on Pistorius.

She said she had never cheated on the Blade Runner but had been in a relationship with a man named "Quinton" after their first break-up.

She said that she had revealed her relationship to Pistorius in an email she had sent him.

In his re-examination, State prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked if Taylor had ever heard Pistorius screaming in a life-threatening situation.

Taylor then described an incident en route to his home where Pistorius noticed that someone had followed him.

Pistorius jumped out of the vehicle with his gun, and pointed it at the window, scaring off their alleged pursuer.

Nel said that the defence would try to argue Pistorius was trying to defend Taylor.

Nel then asked Taylor if there had been a time when Pistorius thought an intruder was in the house.

She described an incident where a noise had woken him, and he turned to Taylor to check if she was alright. He then took his gun and checked out his home.

Nel pointed out that Pistorius had not woken Steenkamp the night that he claims he thought an intruder was in the house.

The court adjourned for lunch.

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