Superstar Paralympian Oscar Pistorius thought his girlfriend was asleep in his bed in the early hours of Thursday (14Feb13) when he fired his gun into the bathroom at a perceived intruder, a court in South Africa has heard.

The 26-year-old track star, nicknamed Blade Runner, has for the first time detailed his version of events on the night his model partner Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

He has been charged with murder and appeared at Pretoria Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning (19Feb13) to seek bail.

During the hearing, which took place at the same time as Steenkamp's funeral in Port Elizabeth, a defence lawyer read out an affidavit from Pistorius, in which he opened up about the events which led to the blonde beauty's death.

The sportsman claims he has "been a victim of crime before" so he sleeps with a gun under his bed, and when he heard a noise in the early hours of the morning, he assumed there was an intruder in the house.

Pistorius alleges he "thought Reeva was in bed" when he fired into the bathroom, and then smashed the door open when he realised his mistake. He goes on to claim he "tried to revive" his girlfriend and called an ambulance, but she "died in my arms".

Prosecutors claim the killing was "pre-planned" and accused the sportsman of "premeditated murder", alleging Pistorius "got up, put on his prosthesis (legs) and walked seven metres to fire (a) gun".

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday morning (20Feb13), when more evidence will be presented as part of Pistorius' bail application.