Oscar Pistorius trial: 'Reeva Steenkamp screamed as loud as a plane' on night she died

Testimony is focusing on screams heard on the night the Paralympian athlete shot and fatally wounded his girlfriend

The screams heard on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed by Oscar Pistorius could have been as loud as a plane's engine, a court has heard.

On Tuesday, testimony in the murder trial of Pistorius focused on the screams that neighbours heard on the night the Paralympian athlete shot and fatally wounded his girlfriend.

State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned Ivan Lin, an acoustics expert, who had been called by the defence team as part of its effort to suggest some neighbours who said they heard the screams of a woman were wrong, and that they actually heard the high-pitched screams of the double-amputee runner.

Mr Nel asked Mr Lin if he would put the screams at 120 DB, or roughly about as loud as plane engine. According to Sky News, Mr Lin replied: "120 means extremely loud, you can almost hear it 100 metres away. It is a very slight possibility, but it is possible."

Mr Lin has testified that he conducted tests showing ambient noise and other factors can make it difficult to hear accurately from a distance.

 

Mr Nel said the screams of a woman have a "tonal character" and referred to the testimony of the neighbours who were convinced they had heard a screaming woman.

He told the court: "Four state witnesses all heard screams by a woman. That must be reliable even for a scientist."

Mr Lin responded that he could not say whether the neighbours were "correct or incorrect".

Pistorius has testified that he fired through a closed bathroom door, killing Ms Steenkamp, in the mistaken belief there was a dangerous intruder in his home. The prosecution has alleged that Pistorius, 27, killed the 29-year-old after a Valentine's Day argument in 2013.

 

Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder, and could also face years in prison if convicted of murder without premeditation or negligent killing. He is free on bail. If found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, he could face 15 years or a non-custodial sentence.

On Monday, the court received reports from mental health experts who concluded Pistorius was not suffering from a mental illness when he killed Steenkamp and was able to understand the wrongfulness of what he had done. The reports were compiled during a month of tests at a state psychiatric hospital.

Both the prosecution and his defence counsel accepted the findings of the report, compiled by three psychiatrists and one psychologist, although his legal team called for more time to assess the findings and make some consultations.

The trial continues.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone