Reeva Steenkamp was sometimes scared of Oscar Pistorius, an expert who retrieved messages from their mobile phones has told the Pretoria court.
Francois Moller said at the murder trial of the South African double amputee Olympic sprinter that some messages contradicted Pistorius’ claim that the couple had a happy relationship.
“I’m scared of you sometimes and how you react to me,” Steenkamp wrote about two weeks before Pistorius killed her.
In another message, she said she was scared of how he “snapped” at her.
“I regard myself as a lady, but I didn’t feel like one tonight after the way you treated me,” she also wrote.
In one message, Pistorius apologised for his behaviour, saying he had been tired, sick and hungry.
As the court adjourned on Monday, Pistorius sat quietly in the dock, wiping his eyes.
The testimony of Moller in the fourth week of the trial followed that of a Pistorius’ neighbour who said she heard a woman scream the night the athlete shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door in his home.
Anette Stipp said she and her husband heard shots and “a lady screaming, terrified, terrified screaming. The screaming continued, it did not stop.”
Stipp said a man also screamed and more gunshots rang out before there was silence. The witness said her domestic worker told her she had also heard screams.
Stipp’s husband and two other neighbours have also testified they heard a woman scream on February 14, 2013, when the 29-year-old model and law graduate was killed.
Police experts have testified that Steenkamp was first hit in the hip and the arm, which would have given her time to scream before Pistorius fired the fatal shot to her head.
The screams would indicate Pistorius knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom. He said he mistook her for a burglar.
Defence has argued that the screams were those of Pistorius.
The prosecution is expected to call four more witnesses before it wraps up its case this week.
Defence will then call its own witnesses. Pistorius could be among the first of them, unless he invokes his constitutional right not to testify.
The trial is expected to continue until May 16, with a recess scheduled for the week of April 7.