THE chief lawyer for Oscar Pistorius has sought to show the athlete had a loving relationship with the girlfriend he killed, referring to telephone messages in which they exchanged warm compliments and said they missed each other.

The testimony contrasted with several messages read out in court at the request of the prosecution on Monday in which Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp argued in the weeks before he shot her.

In those messages, Ms Steenkamp told the double-amputee runner she was sometimes scared by his behaviour.

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Defence lawyer Barry Roux noted the tense messages were a tiny fraction of roughly 1700 that police Captain Francois Moller, a mobile phone expert, extracted from the mobile devices of the couple.

Mr Roux noted an exchange from January 19 last year in which Ms Steenkamp sent Pistorius a photo of herself in a hoodie and making a kissing face, followed by the message: "You like it?"

"I love it," Pistorius said, according to the message.

"So warm," Ms Steenkamp responded.

Mr Roux was also granted permission to show CCTV video that showed Pistorius and Ms Steenkamp kissing in a convenience store. And he asked Mr Moller to read out a January 9 message from the model to her athlete boyfriend. It read: "You are a very special person. You deserve to be looked after."

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned the relevance of showing the convenience store video, saying he could ask for a courtroom viewing of another video showing Pistorius at a gun range and using a pistol to shoot a watermelon.

Mr Nel said many messages of affection between the couple were brief in contrast to the texted arguments.

The trial continues.