South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears and sobbed uncontrollably as he appeared in court to face a murder charge on Friday morning (15Feb13).

The 26-year-old sprinter was arrested on Thursday (14Feb13) after allegedly shooting dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria, South Africa in the early hours.

The track star, known as Blade Runner, spent Thursday night in a jail cell at Boshkop police station in the city before appearing at Pretoria Magistrates Court on Friday morning, when he was officially charged with murder.

Pistorius stood to hear the charge against him and broke down in tears as the allegation was read out. He was reportedly comforted by his brother, who put a hand on his shoulder, as the sportsman sobbed during the proceedings.

Steenkamp, 30, was shot four times, and local reports suggested Pistorius had mistaken her for a burglar when she entered his home for a Valentine's Day (14Feb13) surprise. However, police dismissed the story, insisting the reports had not come from an official source.