'Fear about getting out': Stunning new details in Oscar Pistorius saga

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Oscar Pistorius, pictured here girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp before her death.
Oscar Pistorius was jailed for 13 years for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Image: Getty

Oscar Pistorius is said to be more concerned about having Reeva Steenkamp’s family accept his apology than getting out of jail.

The athlete, nicknamed ‘Blade Runner’, was jailed for 13 years after shooting girlfriend Steenkamp inside their home in 2013.

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Pistorius claimed he woke in the middle of the night and heard noises in the bathroom, shooting what he thought was an intruder.

A friend of Pistorius recently visited him in jail and offered an insight into his mindset.

Bill Schroder, the South African athlete’s former school headmaster, told The Sun on Sunday: “What he really, really wants is forgiveness.

“I said to him that if he had killed my daughter, I doubt I would forgive him.

“He is more concerned about forgiveness than actually getting out on parole.

“In fact, he has a real fear about getting parole as he knows there will be a backlash.”

In 2018, Steenkamp’s mother June said she had forgiven Pistorius but never wanted to speak to him again.

“I did feel he was showing remorse,” Schroder added.

“He quoted a study by an expert that when you are woken from a deep sleep and are put into a situation of fear that you act very differently to when fully conscious.

“I listened to him but did not buy it.”

Schroder said Pistorius has “given up exercise, started smoking, grown a big beard and turned to God”.

Oscar Pistorius eligible for parole in 2023

In 2017 Pistorius had his prison sentence more than doubled, a surprisingly dramatic intervention by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal.

Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said a panel of judges unanimously upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius’ original six-year sentence.

Under that initial sentence, which the court called “shockingly lenient”, the double-amputee runner could have been released on parole in mid-2019. Now, the earliest he’ll be eligible for parole is 2023.

The ruling brought an end to the near five-year legal saga surrounding Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion and record-breaker who was the first amputee to run at the Olympics and one of the most celebrated sportsmen in the world.

Oscar Pistorius, pictured here in action at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Oscar Pistorius in action at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June, were “emotional” as they watched Seriti deliver the verdict live on television at their home, family lawyer Tania Koen said.

“They feel there has been justice for Reeva. She can now rest in peace,” Koen told The Associated Press.

“But at the same time, people must realise that people think this is the end of the road for them ... the fact is they still live with Reeva’s loss every day.”

Pistorius killed Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day 2013 after shooting four times through a closed toilet cubicle door with his 9 mm pistol.

He claimed he mistook the 29-year-old model and reality TV star for an intruder and was initially convicted of manslaughter by trial judge Thokozile Masipa.

That conviction was overturned and replaced with a murder conviction by the Supreme Court in 2015. Pistorius was then sentenced to six years for murder by Masipa, a decision also rejected by the Supreme Court.

with Associated Press

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