Michell Burger, a neighbour of Oscar Pistorius, said she heard
Michell Burger, a neighbour of Oscar Pistorius, said she heard "bloodcurdling screams" when Reeva Steenkamp was killedReuters

A neighbour of Oscar Pistorius told the jury at his murder trial that she heard "blood-curdling" and "fear-stricken" screams on the night Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead.

Michelle Burger told North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that she was awoken by the noise of "terrible screams" on the night Steenkamp was killed in the bathroom of her boyfriend's luxury home on Valentine's Day last year.

"She screamed terribly and she yelled for help. Then I also heard a man screaming for help. Three times he yelled for help.

"Just after her screams, I heard four shots. It was very traumatic for me. You could hear bloodcurdling screams."

Burger came under tough questioning from the Pistorius's defence lawyer Barry Roux, who pressed her on the version of events she gave in her statement.

"I heard a man screaming for help three times. What was left out [of her initial statement] was the fear-stricken screams of the woman," she said.

Roux questioned her account of how many shots she heard and whether the shots could have been fired before she woke up. He sought to downplay the "bloodcurdling screams" by questioning whether the emotive term was inserted into Burger's testimony at a later date.

The trial of Pistorius has gripped the world's attention with the defendant, aged 27, being one of the most recognisable sport stars on the planet.

Pistorius denies murdering Steenkamp after a row as the prosecution alleges. In his opening statement, the South African paralympian claimed he thought there were intruders in the bathroom and that he was feeling vulnerable because he did not have on his prosthetic legs.