Oscar Pistorius has said he was “besotted” with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, as he gave evidence at his murder trial.
The athlete said he and Reeva Steenkamp had been talking about “future plans” together.
He also read out messages they had sent each other, including one where she said he scared her sometimes.
Oscar Pistorius denies deliberately shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in his home on Valentine’s Day last year, arguing he mistook her for an intruder.
On his first day on the stand, the athlete made a tearful apology to Reeva Steenkamp’s family.
The trial was adjourned on Monday after he was overcome with emotion.
Responding to his questioning by his lawyer Barry Roux, Oscar Pistorius said that in January 2013: “I was very keen on Reeva. If anything I was more keen than she was.”
He said they had a shared interest in cars and had spent Christmas together after meeting on November 4, 2012.
“I let her just take her space – it wasn’t always easy I was besotted with her… the relationship built up to a point in December, January that we really needed, we started caring about each other, we start talking about future plans.”
Barry Roux has also asked him to comment on “tensions” in their relationship and on WhatsApp messages Reeva Steenkamp sent him in which she expresses disquiet about his attitude towards her, accusing him of “double standards”.
Tears streamed down the athlete’s face as he read out the messages sent to him by Reeva Steenkamp during his testimony, which is not being filmed.
On Monday, Oscar Pistorius told Reeva Steenkamp’s relatives that there “hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family”.
He said: “I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I’ve caused you and your family.”
“I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise that when she went to bed that night she felt loved.”
Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June, sat stony-faced while Oscar Pistorius spoke.
The athlete admitted to taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills, saying he was “scared to sleep” and suffered from “terrible nightmares”.
He also told the court that he had regularly been confronted with violence, including break-ins and assaults, while he was growing up.
Oscar Pistorius became emotional when he detailed how important religion had been to him and Reeva Steenkamp. His counsel eventually asked for an adjournment.
Prior to Oscar Pistorius’ appearance, the trial had already heard 15 days of prosecution-led testimony, which relied on accounts from neighbors and specialist ballistics experts, as well forensic and mobile phone evidence.
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