By Emily Goddard

Oscar Pistorius breaks down in court as he hears that the prosecution will argue he committed premediated murderFebruary 15 - Oscar Pistorius sobbed in court this morning as the South African Paralympian heard that prosecutors would pursue a "premeditated murder" charge over the death of his girlfriend on Valentine's Day.

Dressed in a dark suit, the 26-year-old six times Paralympic gold medallist arrived at Pretoria Magistrates' Court, his head covered by a jacket, to stand before magistrate Desmond Nair after he allegedly shot 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp yesterday.

Pistorius bowed his head to hear the charge of one count of murder read out and wept, covering his face with his hands, when prosecutors argued he had committed premeditated murder - a conviction for which could see the athlete sentenced to life in prison.

He was not asked to enter a plea and did not speak as the Magistrate adjourned the case until next Tuesday (February 19) after the defence team asked for more time to conduct their own investigations.

The sprint star was remanded in custody after prosecutors successfully opposed a bail application by his lawyer, who cited his "extremely traumatised state of mind".

Oscar Pistorius leaves court in Pretoria after being formally charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva SteenkampOscar Pistorius is formally charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp in court

The hearing had originally been set to go ahead yesterday afternoon but was postponed until today to give forensic investigators time to carry out their work.

Forensic experts will continue examining Pistorius' house in the exclusive Silver Woods gated community on the outskirts of South Africa's capital where Steenkamp died.

Early reports suggested that Pistorius had mistaken his model girlfriend for an intruder but these claims were later rubbished by police who said neighbours had heard noises before shots and there had been a history of "domestic incidents" at the house.

A nine-millimetre pistol was recovered from the upmarket, high-security home and local media are reporting that Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times - in the head, chest, pelvis and hand -through a bathroom door.

Steenkamp, who had been dating Pistorius since last November, died at the scene.

A post mortem examination is being carried out on the body today but the results will not be made public.

A police officer holds a gun taken from Pistorius homeA police officer holds a gun taken from Pistorius' home

Pistorius has denied murdering his girlfriend in the "strongest terms" and offered his "deepest sympathies" to her family.

"Firstly, and most importantly, all our thoughts today must be with the family and friends of Reeva Steenkamp," read a statement issued by his family and management company.

"Oscar Pistorius has appeared in court here in Pretoria this morning formally charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

"The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms."

The statement added: "Oscar Pistorius has made history as an Olympic and Paralympic sportsman and has been an inspiration to others the world over.

"He has made it very clear that he would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva.

"He would also like to express his thanks through us today for all the messages of support he has received – but as stated our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family, regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy."

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