Oscar Pistorius’s parole bid fails because he applied for it too early in his sentence

Oscar Pistorius will not be released early from his 13-year-five-month jail sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a parole board has decided.

The former Olympic and Paralympic athlete, known as the Blade Runner, had applied for parole after serving half of his jail term.

Earlier, Reeva’s mother June Steenkamp told Sky News that Pistorius was “not remorseful or rehabilitated” ahead of the hearing.

A parole board spokesperson confirmed he could reapply for early release in August 2024.

Tania Koen, a lawyer for the Steenkamp family, told reporters: “I can confirm that parole has been denied, they will reconvene in a year to reconsider him again and we don’t know the reasons yet (for the denial).

“I’ve just received a call from the parole board… It is a huge sense of relief for June.”

Pistorius, 36, was convicted in 2014 of murdering his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine’s Day the previous year.

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He has served half of his 13-year sentence and attended a meeting with Steenkamp’s father as part of South Africa’s restorative justice programme last year.

Read more:
Who is Oscar Pistorius? From ‘blade runner’ to convicted murderer
Oscar Pistorius meets with father of murdered partner
Oscar Pistorius seeks early release from prison

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June Steenkamp, speaking prior to the parole decision, said it would be ‘difficult to be in the same room’ as the man who shot and killed her daughter.

The South African athlete started his bid for parole in August last year after claiming he had “done everything in [his] power to rehabilitate”.

A hearing had previously been cancelled because Pistorius had not met with Ms Steenkamp’s parents, but in June 2022, The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation confirmed that a meeting with Pistorius and Barry Steenkamp had taken place.

Prior to the murder, Pistorius had been best known for his sporting prowess, winning gold at the Paralympics and making history as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.

But all that changed on 14 February 2013 when he shot and killed his girlfriend in a bathroom at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius has always insisted the shooting was a mistake, saying he thought an intruder was in the house and he feared for his safety.

He fired four shots through a locked toilet door, hitting Ms Steenkamp, 29, in the head, hip and arm.

Pistorius claimed in court it was only when he battered down the door with a cricket bat that he realised who was behind it.

But the prosecution said the murder was premeditated and Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp after an argument.

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