A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius has lifted the lid on her life with the fallen Paralympics star before he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp.

Samantha Taylor, 20, revealed she often felt frightened of Pistorius during the 18 months they spent dating in South Africa.

The pair broke up shortly before Pistorius began dating model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, whom he shot dead only three months into their relationship.

During Pistorius's trial, which captured global attention, Taylor was called as a prosecution witness in relation to a separate gun charge for which the athlete was eventually cleared.

Taylor subsequently told the Mirror she remained deeply troubled by the thought it could have been her who was killed by Pistorius.

"What happened to Reeva Steenkamp could so easily have happened to me. I definitely think that could have been me – without a doubt – many, many, many times," she said.

Taylor claimed that on occasion he [Pistorius] "gets so mad, so angry he can't even speak.

"He was trying to string his words together, spitting, shouting, grabbing. It was horrible. He used to bite me a lot, pinch me in anger and in fun. I had bruises and scars. It was painful.

"Oscar used to lock me in his house and then go out. I had no food, I couldn't get out. It was dangerous.

"He often went out saying he will just be an hour or so and ended up out all day or night. I wouldn't hear from him all night and his phone would be off."

Taylor, 20, claimed she was once so scared by the runner's behaviour that she hid his gun because she feared him turning it upon her. It was the same weapon he used to gun down Steenkamp.

Taylor said she regarded Pistorius as fundamentally "a very insecure man."

Pistorius is facing the prospect of a jail sentence after being convicted of culpable homicide and one firearms charge.

He is due back in court for sentencing on 13 October.