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When is Oscar Pistorius due to be released from jail?

·3-min read

On this day seven years ago, Oscar Pistorius was jailed for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

But there would be many more days in court to follow.

On 21 October, 2014, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the culpable homicide of Ms Steenkamp, 29.

Side profile image of Oscar Pistorius pictured in a courtroom
South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to prison on 21 October, 2014, for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Source: Reuters

The former gold medal-winning Paralympian, known as the “Blade Runner”, shot and killed Ms Steenkamp, a model and paralegal, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa, on Valentine’s Day, 2013.

She had been dating Pistorius since November 2012.

Pistorius claimed he had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder hiding in the bathroom, firing shots through the door.

 Reeva Steenkamp smiles and poses for a photo
Reeva Steenkamp was murdered by Oscar Pistorius on Valentine's Day, 2013. Source: Getty Images

Pistorius fired four shots through the bathroom door, hitting Ms Steenkamp three times.

She was shot in the head, pelvis and arm, the court heard.

The following year, a trial found him not guilty of murder, but guilty of culpable homicide, leading to a five-year prison sentence.

The outside of the home of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius where he allegedly shot his girlfriend
Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. Source: PA

He was released on parole on 19 October, 2015, but the case went to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa.

In December 2015, the appeal court overturned the culpable homicide verdict and convicted Pistorius of murder.

 Oscar Pistorius holds his fingers to his eyes in court
Oscar Pistorius reacts as he is found guilty of culpable homicide in a court in Pretoria in September 2014. He would later be convicted of murder on appeal. Source: Reuters

As a result, in July 2016, a judge sentenced Pistorius to six years in prison, which was called “shockingly lenient” by the state, which made another appeal, asking for a longer sentence.

This appeal was also successful, and in November 2017, Pistorius was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

However, Pistorius, now 34, will be eligible for parole in 2023.

Oscar Pistorius starts the Men's 400m T44 final at the Olympic Stadium, London.
Oscar Pistorius, known as the 'Blade Runner', competing in the Men's 400m T44 final at the Olympic Stadium in London during the 2012 Paralympics. Source: PA

He is currently being held at the low-security Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in South Africa.

In 2018, his father, Henke Pistorius, told The Times that his son teaches fellow inmates about the Bible.

“I have no doubt that Oscar has changed the environment in the prison for the better, he is helping to mediate between people and is having a positive influence,” his father said.

Ms Steenkamp’s parents, Barry, a horse trainer, and his second wife, June, who was born in Blackburn in England, were often pictured in attendance at Pistorius’s trial.

June and Barry Steenkamp, parents of  Reeva Steenkamp arrive at North Gauteng High Court
Barry and June Steenkamp, the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, arrive at North Gauteng High Court during Oscar Pistorius's trial in July 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa. Source: Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius poses next tp Reeva Steenkamp
Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius pictured in January 2013, just three weeks before he murdered her. Source: AFP via Getty Images

In 2017, when his sentence was lengthened to 15 years, Ms Steenkamp’s family’s spokeswoman, Tania Koen, said: “This is an emotional thing for them.

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

Ms Steenkamp had been a keen horse rider until she broke her back in a fall when in her early 20s. 

The first face of Avon cosmetics in South Africa, Ms Steenkamp also worked as a television presenter for FashionTV and appeared in several advertisements.

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