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Other Sports'Blade Runner' Pistorius to be released on parole

‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius to be released on parole

Oscar Pistorius is to be released from prison in January, nearly 11 years after murdering his former girlfriend.

The South African Paralympian, dubbed the Blade Runner for his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs, was found guilty of killing Reeva Steenkamp after shooting her through a bathroom door at his home in Pretoria in February 2013. Pistorius has always maintained his innocence, claiming it was an accident thinking she was an intruder.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2016 after an initial sentence of six years was overturned for being “shockingly too lenient” but, having served half his term, he is now eligible for parole and will be released on January 5.

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Despite the ruling, Steenkamp’s mother June questioned whether Pistorius was suitable for parole.

“I do not know to what extent his bad behaviour still exists or were evident during his time of incarceration,’’ she said in a statement, read by Rob Matthews, a family friend whose daughter was also murdered by a partner, “but I’m concerned for the safety of any woman should this not have been addressed in his rehabilitation process.”

The case attracted worldwide attention due to Pistorius’ pin-up image in his native country, his achievements on the track that gave the Paralympics a greater global appeal and his ability to overcome adversity.

The 37-year-old had both legs amputated below the knee at 11 months old due to a congenital defect.

That didn’t prevent him from competing in the Paralympics as well as the 2012 London Olympics – the first double amputee to take part in the able-bodied version of the Games.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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