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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss