Oscar Pistorius trial: BBC broadcasts sound of 'screaming woman' over news report

'Technical problems' blamed after audible sound effects of a screaming woman and howling dog played over news report

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The Independent Online

BBC radio listeners were left speechless after the sound of a woman screaming in terror and a howling dog were played during a news report of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

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The embarrassing technical glitch occurred as the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire newsreader said: "Oscar Pistorius has pleaded not guilty". His report was effectively drowned out by a series of inappropriate background noises including a pack of howling dogs.

DJ Vic Minett immediately apologised for the incident saying: "Apologies for a couple of technical problems during that news bulletin. A few odd things sneaking in there."

A BBC spokesperson said: "There was a technical mistake where sound effects being prepared in another studio for an unrelated item were accidentally broadcast over the news bulletin. We apologised for the error immediately afterwards."

The BBC blunder coincided with the testimony of Dr Michelle Burger, a neighbour of Mr Pistorius, who told Pretoria's High Court she was woken up by "blood-curdling screams" followed by four gunshots the night model Reeva Steenkamp was shot.

On Monday, Mr Pistorius pleaded not guilty of murdering Ms Steenkamp, claiming he shot her in a case of mistaken identity thinking she was an intruder.

Ms Steenkamp was shot three times, being hit in the head, arm and hip from three bullets from a 9mm pistol through the locked bathroom door of Mr Pistorius' upscale villa on Valentine's Day last year.

Prosecutors argue he intentionally shot and killed  his girlfriend following a domestic dispute. If convicted of murder he will almost certainly receive a life sentence, with a minimum term of 25 years.