Oscar: 'Reeva wouldn't want me to spend my life behind bars'

By Kirstin Buick
23 June 2016

Murder-convicted Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears as he described in graphic detail the events that unfolded the night he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

In a TV interview, due to be aired in full in South Africa on M-Net on Friday night, the 29-year-old admitted to investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas that he deserves the maximum sentence for culpable homicide, his original conviction. “I will spend 10 years in jail for taking Reeva's life for culpable homicide,” Oscar said he told his lawyers, “but I won't spend a day in jail for murdering anyone". Unfortunately for the paralympian, he is on the cusp of being sentenced for murder, after his manslaughter conviction was overturned on appeal. He will hear his fate in the High Court in Pretoria on 6 July.

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“I don't want to go back to jail. I don't want to have to waste my life sitting there. If I was afforded the opportunity of redemption I would like to help the less fortunate like I had in my past.”

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

In spite of being declared unfit to take the stand in sentencing proceedings by his psychologist, Oscar granted a tell-all TV interview to British broadcaster ITV.

Oscar leaves the High Court in Pretoria on Monday 13 June 2016. PHOTO: Martin de Kock Oscar leaves the High Court in Pretoria on Monday 13 June 2016. PHOTO: Martin de Kock

He wept as he described the events that unfolded the night he shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentines’ Day in 2013.

He describes how he arrived home just after 6pm to find Reeva “smiling and giddy and just bubbly”.

The model, who was 29 at the time, served him a romantic, candlelit dinner.

After, they lay down on the bed and chatted. He asked her to close the door and switch off the TV if he fell asleep before she did.

He says he awoke at 3am and it was “pitch dark”.

“I heard this noise coming from the bathroom,” he says. “It was a sliding noise of the window frame hitting the frame.”

Thinking someone was breaking in, he “immediately panicked”.

He describes how he picked up his gun, and, believing Reeva was still in bed, whispered to her to get down and phone the police.

“All of a sudden I heard a noise, at the toilet,” he says. “I presumed it was the toilet door opening and before I know it I’d fired four shots.”

Tears in court as Oscar takes off his prosthetic legs and stands on his stumps before judge

Then he went back to the bedroom but couldn’t find Reeva.

“I'm still scared that there's an intruder in the house but I'm now mixed with another fear. So I rush on my stumps back as quick as I can to the bathroom, and I've still got the firearm pointed at the door. It's locked. And I realise there is somebody inside there and they're not answering me.'

He said it was only at this point that it occurred to him it might be Reeva behind the bathroom door.

“I'm screaming now for Reeva and just start screaming 'Jesus please god, please please please please please just don't let this be what I think it is'.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp during the Our Nations Pride / SA Sports Awards Gala Dinner at Sandton Convention Centre on November 04, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. PHOTO:Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp during the Our Nations Pride / SA Sports Awards Gala Dinner at Sandton Convention Centre on November 04, 2012. PHOTO: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

“I need to get in this toilet to see if it's Re. And if she's not answering why isn't she answering me, is she scared? Is she ok? So I ran back to the room down the passage to get the cricket bat and I start smashing down this door.

"I reach into the door to open the lock from the inside and I realise the key isn't there. And I punch, I take one of the planks that's now lose and I rip it out and then I can see Reeva is on the floor.”

It’s at this point in the interview that he starts to sob.

“I opened the toilet door and immediately when I saw Reeva she was over the toilet. She's. . . she'd slumped over the toilet. And I. . . at that point I knew that I'd killed her. I knew that she was dead. And I went down on my knees and pulled her onto me.

“I just see blood and it's just blood everywhere. It's just blood everywhere. . . So much blood. And I don't know what to do. I try and pick her up. I'm trying to pick her up but there's so much blood I can't stand up.

GRAPHIC CONTENT: These are the photos Reeva’s parents want the world to see

“And I thought Reeva had started breathing, so I had my fingers in her mouth and I was trying to give her mouth to mouth, but there was so much blood.”

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel dismissed Oscar’s account of that night as lies, and the court found him to be a poor witness after he took the stand during his trial last year.

Judge Masipa said the found him to be “evasive” and “clearly not candid”.

Oscar addresses this in the ITV interview, blaming this on his long court and police ordeal.

Sources: The Guardian, MailOnline, The Telegraph

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