Paralympic gold-medal-winner Oscar Pistorius was the first both-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics, when he was 25. The South African sport hero dubbed Blade Runner was included in Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.
Compatriot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was a model and a law graduate. Then the celebrity life ended.
He killed her in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year. They were at his home in Pretoria. Pistorius said he shot Steenkamp accidentally, believing she was an intruder. It was just after three a.m.
He said he’d woken up, heard a noise, felt vulnerable without his prosthetic legs on and took his gun to investigate. He fired four shots from the 9mm pistol through the closed door.
Descriptions of the case included: ‘an individual psychological disaster’ and also ‘representative of national crime fears’.
The defendant broke down repeatedly in court, even retching.
Video evidence showed a different side of the accused at a firing range — laughing. Weapons charges had also been brought against Pistorius.
On the 12th September, the judge acquitted the athlete of intentional murder, finding him guilty, instead, of ‘culpable homicide’.