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Oscar Pistorius: Reeva wouldn't want me to waste life in jail

By Staff Reporter

Published 24/06/2016

Former champion Paralympian Oscar Pistorius faces 15 years behind bars for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
Former champion Paralympian Oscar Pistorius faces 15 years behind bars for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius has claimed Reeva Steenkamp would not want him to "waste" his life by spending it behind bars when he could be helping others.

The former Paralympian athlete gave an emotional interview to ITV ahead of his sentencing on July 6 for the murder of Ms Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, after his original conviction for culpable homicide was upgraded.

The 29-year-old shot his girlfriend four times through a locked bathroom door on Valentine's Day in his home in Pretoria, in South Africa

In the interview filmed in his home, Pistorius claimed he did not deserve to be punished for murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison under South African law.

The athlete said being "infamous and famous" had made his life increasingly difficult, and described how a woman in a supermarket began screaming at security for letting him in as he tried to do his grocery shopping.

He said that being allowed to live his life outside of prison would allow him to do good for other people.

"I don't want to go back to jail - I don't want to have to waste my life sitting here," he added. "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."

Pistorius denies murdering Ms Steenkamp and claims he killed her unintentionally after mistaking her for an intruder.

This account was dismissed by prosecutors who claimed he killed Ms Steenkamp after an argument over an ex-boyfriend.

Pistorius said he did not disagree that he deserved to be punished for taking her life.

"What's difficult is dealing with the charge of murder," he explained.

He became upset throughout the interview and at one point walked out as he recalled holding her lifeless body in graphic detail.

He claimed he could still "feel" and "smell" the blood from Ms Steenkamp's body.

Oscar Pistorius: The interview will be broadcast at 9pm on Friday on ITV.

Ms Steenkamp (29) From Port Elizabeth in South Africa, graduated from law school before going on to present FashionTV in South Africa and launching a modelling career.

She met Pistorius in Johannesburg and became involved with him in 2012. They dated for four months until her death.

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