Pistorius Done Testifying After Reading Reeva's Valentine's Card

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Oscar Pistorius' murder trial heard a Valentine's message from beyond the grave Tuesday as the Olympian read aloud a card from his slain girlfriend, which remained unopened until after he shot her dead.

"Roses are red, violets are blue," the 27-year-old double-amputee sprinter said as he told the court what was on the front of a card Reeva Steenkamp had prepared for him. Pistorius is accused of premeditated murder after killing the model and law graduate early on February 14 last year.

Pistorius said the message inside the card, underneath the date, read: "I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you."

The card was intended for Pistorius later on the day of the shooting, the High Court in Pretoria heard.

Earlier, the so-called "Blade Runner" told of feeling “terror” and “hopelessness” when firing the shots that killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius said he "didn’t think” about pulling the trigger as soon as he heard the noise inside his bathroom that he thought was an intruder.

“It was complete terror and just a feeling of hopelessness at not being able to defend myself,” he testified.

Pistorius says he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar after hearing the window being opened, but the prosecution alleges the pair had been arguing and that the shooting was premeditated.

Pistorius was questioned briefly by his defense lawyer Barry Roux after five days of ferocious cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

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Nel concluded his questioning earlier Tuesday with a blistering attack on the sprinter, saying that his version of events on the fateful night was “not only untruthful but it’s so improbable that it cannot reasonable."

He added: “You armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her.”

Earlier, Pistorius described how he broke down the door with a cricket bat to get at Steenkamp, who had been struck by three hollow-point bullets.

- Alastair Jamieson