Saturday, 18 June 2016

Father's Plea: ‘Pistorius Must Pay’ - Barry Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius must pay for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, her father told a South African court, adding that forgiving the Paralympian runner for his crime was very hard.

The 29-year-old gold medallist faces a minimum 15-year jail term after his manslaughter conviction for the 2013 killing, for which he originally received a five-year sentence, was upgraded on appeal.

Called to testify by the lead state prosecutor in Pistorius’ sentencing hearing, a tearful and trembling Barry Steenkamp said his daughter’s death had devastated her family.
Oscar Pistorious in Court Recently
“I ended up having a stroke and so many things since then have happened. I think of her every day; I talk to her. It is difficult to explain. I just don’t wish that to anybody in this world,” he told the court.

“He has to pay for his crime,” Steenkamp (73) said of Pistorius, who he found it very difficult to forgive. For me it has been difficult to forgive, but I feel that Oscar . . . has to pay. How long is up to the court and we will go by the decision of the court,” he said.

Steenkamp said he and wife June had relied financially on their daughter, and he had “jabbed (himself) . . . with needles” to try to relive the pain that she went through.

“What she must have gone through in those split seconds. She must have been in so much fear and pain. That is what I think of all the time. I can see it myself. It must have been absolutely and utterly awful,” Steenkamp said.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court on Monday, the first day of the hearing, that Pistorius has shown no remorse for shooting and killing Steenkamp when he fired four shots through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home.

Nel disputed a claim by Jonathan Scholtz, a psychologist called by Pistorius’ lawyer that Pistorius was “a broken man” who should be hospitalised and not jailed, saying the track star had been violent while serving his sentence. — Agencies.

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