Saturday 21 April 2018

'Reeva would want me to live my life' - Oscar Pistorius in first interview since trial

* Manslaughter conviction upgraded to murder on appeal
* Paralympian faces minimum 15-year jail sentence
* Due to be sentenced on July 6

Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa
Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa

Catherine Devince

Oscar Pistorius claimed Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend he killed, wouldn’t want him to “waste his life” behind bars.

In his first TV interview since the death of his girlfriend in 2013 he admitted that he deserves a long jail sentence for killing his girlfriend but denies he murdered her.

“At times I don’t feel like I should have the right to live for taking someone else’s life. What’s difficult is dealing with the charge of murder,” he said.

He told ITV that he didn’t want to “waste my life” and that if he had the opportunity of “redemption” he would like to help those less fortunate.

“I would like to believe that if Reeva could look down upon me that she would want me to live that life,” he said.

The interview with ITV will air on Friday at 9pm and shows Pistorius sobbing as he recalls the moment he entered the bathroom and found his dead girlfriend. The show will air just days before a South African judge will sentence Pistorius on July 6.

Prosecutor Gerry Nel said Pistorius had been "disrespectful to the court ... to the victims ... and the deceased".

The former athlete has consistently denied the murder of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 saying he believed an intruder had entered the bathroom window and he feared for their safety.

At his first trial Pistorius was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to five years under correctional supervision, but only served one year.

He admitted to having 11 firearms but that he kept only one at his home.

Arnold Pistorius has insisted it was his decision and not his nephew's to do the interview and that no one from the family would profit from it.

He said in a statement: "I decided it was necessary to take up one media offer that would provide our family with a voice to address some of the misconceptions that have remained unchallenged."

In South Africa, murder carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, though a judge may deviate from this in "substantial and compelling circumstances".

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