Killing trial hears Pistorius reference

Police in attendance at the house in Sunnyside Street in South Belfast. 'Pic: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Police in attendance at the house in Sunnyside Street in South Belfast. 'Pic: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Differences between the death of a Belfast man shot dead through a bathroom door and a murder committed by former paralympian Oscar Pistorius were highlighted to a Belfast Crown Court jury.

Pistorius is currently serving a prison sentence in South Africa for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who died after she was shot through a locked bathroom door on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Stephen Carson, 28, lost his life after being struck in the head by a cartridge fired thought a closed door by a gunman who targeted him in the bathroom of his Walmer Street home in Belfast in February 2016.

Three cousins from west Belfast – Michael, David and Francis Smith – are being tried on offences arising from Mr Carson’s death. The trio have denied all charges.

Frank O’Donoghue QC, representing Michael Smith, 40, who the Crown say was the gunman, suggestedyesterday the intention could have been to frighten Mr Carson.

Mr O’Donoghue said Pistorius “fired a hail of shots, four or five, through the cubicle of a toilet where his girlfriend was – he kept firing until she screamed ‘no more’.”

Turning to the death of Mr Carson, Mr O’Donoghue told the jury: “This was not a case where there was evidence of screaming. This was a case where a gunman fired a single shot through a closed door.”

At hearing.