Oscar Pistorius: does he have a wife, why is ex South Africa Paralympian suing prison, what was his sentence?
The ex-Paralympian nicknamed ‘Blade Runner’ is serving a 13-year prison sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp
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South African former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is going to court to try and argue he is eligible for parole.
Pistorius is serving a 13-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkemp in 2013.
The former athlete has argued that he has already served more than half his sentence and is therefore eligible for parole.
There is a dispute about when his sentence started as he was initially sentenced to six years in 2015, only for this to be extended to 13 years in 2017.
Under South African law, he must have served half of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole and attend a hearing with the victim’s family.
The former gold medalist argues that this means he has been eligible since February 2021.
Here’s everything you need to know about who Oscar Pistorius is and why he’s in prison.
Who is Oscar Pistorius?
Oscar Pistorius is a South African Paralympian who was given the nickname “Blade Runner”.
As a toddler, both his legs were amputated below the knee due to a congenital disease.
He took up running at the age of 16, winning gold at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens.
Following on from his Paralympic success, Pistorius began competing at the Olympics and became the first amputee to compete in track events in London 2012.
In 2013, he was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Is Oscar Pistorius married?
Pistorius is not married and does not have a wife.
His former girlfriend was the South African model Reeva Steenkamp.
What happened to Reeva Steenkamp?
Reeva Steenkamp was found dead at her home with Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa in the early hours of Valentine’s Day, 2013.
The 29-year-old model had bullet wounds to her head and arm.
During a hearing after the discovery, Pistorius admitted to unintentionally shooting Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door, believing her to be an intruder.
A heavily publicised trial followed, with Pistorius being found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison.
There was outrage at the time for the lenient sentencing and the case was reopened by the South African Court of Appeals.
In 2017 the verdict was overturned finding Pistorius guilty of murder increasing his sentence by a further 13 years and five months.
Upon delivering the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti stated that Pistorius did not appear remorseful.
Reflecting on the earlier sentence Justice Seriti said: “The sentence of six years’ imprisonment is shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivialising this serious offence.”
Why is he suing his prison?
Pistorius is suing his prison because he believes that he has served enough time to be deemed eligible for parole.
In 2017, his sentence for the murder of Steenkamp was increased from six years to 13 years and five months.
However last year, the court also ruled that his prison term should be backdated to his first sentencing in October 2014.
Pistorius will argue that this means he has been eligible for parole since February 2021.
Under the ruling from last year, Pistorius is asking Gauteng’s High Court to order the parole board to give him an eligibility hearing.
There is confusion as to when his sentence should be back dated to with Atteridgeville prison, where he is being held, saying the court of appeal has given them contradictory information.
How many years does he have left on his sentence?
There is some confusion around when the former athlete will be eligible for parole and have completed his sentence.
It has previously been reported that he will not be eligible for parole until 2023, and may not be released from jail until 2030 due to his increased sentence.
But there are debates about whether his sentence will begin from his first one in 2014 or the extended one in 2017.
In July 2022, Pistorius met with Steenkamp’s father as part of a dialogue process which allows victims to meet with offenders before they become eligible for parole.
The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation confirmed the meeting had taken place on its Facebook page.
Their post said: “We extend our love and support to Barry and June who participated in the process in preparing them for a meeting with Oscar Pistorius. Barry ultimately met with Oscar on 22 June 2022 for the Victim Offender Dialogue.