Who is Oscar Pistorius and when did he kill Reeva Steenkamp? – The Sun

DISGRACED Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is serving time in prison after shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead through a toilet door on Valentine's Day 2013.

He has gone through lengthy legal battles in a bid to reduce his sentence — but is currently in the news again since his trial in 2015.

Who is Oscar Pistorius?

Dubbed the Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1986 with no fibulas – the smaller of the two lower leg bones.

Both his legs were amputated below the knee when he was just 11 months old and only six months later, he was given his first prosthetics.

As a teenager, Pistorius ran his first 100m race just three weeks after taking up sprinting.

It was the fastest time by any double amputee ever before and marked the start of his running career.

Eight months later, he took home gold at the Paralympics in Athens, 2004.

He fought athletics authorities for the right to compete alongside able-bodied runners and in August 2012 became the first amputee to compete at an Olympic Games.

The following month he took silver in the London Paralympic 200m competition.

When did Oscar Pistorius meet Reeva Steenkamp?

Still on cloud nine from his Olympics success, the track star was first introduced to Reeva Steenkamp in 2012 by a mutual friend over lunch.

He says he fell for her very quickly, and the pair quickly became an item.

Just months later on Valentine's Day 2013 was arrested for shooting Reeva dead.

She had been shot four times through the closed door of the toilet in their Pretoria home.

Pistorius has always maintained he mistook her for a possible intruder.

What happened to Oscar Pistorius after he was charged with Reeva Steenkamp's murder?

South African police charged Pistorius with premeditated murder and possession of unlicensed ammunition on August 19, 2013.

Just over a year later, the runner was found not guilty of murder, but convicted of "culpable homicide". That is the equivalent to manslaughter in Britain.

In October 2014 he was jailed for five years, beginning his sentence at Pretoria's Kgosi Mampuru prison. He was also handed a three-year suspended sentence for the firearms charge.

But furious prosecutors appealled the manslaughter verdict and demand a murder charge, which carries a minimum 15-year sentence.

In October 2015, Pistorius was released after just a year in jail. He was ordered to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest at his uncle Arnold's home in Pretoria.

Two months later the Supreme Court overturned Pistorius' manslaughter conviction, finding him guilty of murder.

He was handed six years in prison in the hospital wing of the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria for Reeva's murder.

Then in October 2016, Pistorius was allowed to move to cushy Atteridgeville prison surrounded by acres of lush gardens and trees.

In August 2017 the shamed athlete was rushed to hospital under armed guard suffering with chest pains.

A month later, South African prosecutors launched an appeal to lengthen the former athlete's sentence, with the National Prosecuting Authority branding his six-year term "shockingly low" and "very lenient".

On November 24, 2017, the former athlete had his sentence increased to 13 years and five months.

In December 2017 it was revealed that Pistorius had been injured in a prison brawl over the use of a public phone, sustaining a bruise.

Is he still in prison and when could he be released?

In November, 2017, Pistorius had his murder sentence doubled to 13 years and five months meaning he may not be released until 2030.

Reading out the court’s decision, the judge said: "The sentence imposed… in respect of murder is set aside and substituted with the following: the respondent is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 13 years and five months.”

The family of murdered model Reeva Steenkamp welcomed the increased sentence and said it showed that justice could prevail in South Africa.

Tania Koen, a spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family, said: "This is an emotional thing for them.

“They just feel that their trust in the justice system has been confirmed this morning."

Before his sentence was increased, The Sun exclusively revealed that Pistorius tried to make a last ditch bid for freedom to stop him from being banged up in hellhole jail Kgosi Mampuru II prison. 

The murderer’s wealthy family attempted to use an obscure law to overturn his conviction.

Why was the BBC trailer for its documentary controversial?

The BBC pulled a trailer for a forthcoming documentary in October 2020 after it was blasted for "portraying him as a victim".

The broadcaster was criticised for not naming the disgraced Paralympian's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The two-minute clip showed footage of the convicted murderer smiling, laughing and winning medals while competing in the Paralympics.

It contained images of him as a child through to when he was found guilty of killing his girlfriend in their bathroom.

The BBC later confirmed it had removed the clip and said it was "aware of the upset it has caused".

Throughout the BBC's new trailer, 29-year-old Reeva – who worked as a model and paralegal – was described as a “woman” and “girlfriend” – but never referred to by her name.

This sparked outrage on Twitter – with “Reeva Steenkamp” trending – and many called on the BBC to remove the clip.

One furious viewer wrote: “This is incredibly irresponsible. Show some respect for women’s lives and take this down.”

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