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Oscar Pistorius Writes 'Distressing' Letter To Reeva Steenkamp's Parents In Bid For Parole

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Oscar Pistorius Writes 'Distressing' Letter To Reeva Steenkamp's Parents In Bid For Parole

Oscar Pistorius has sent the family of Reeva Steenkamp a 'distressing' letter as part of his parole process, their lawyer has confirmed.

The South African Paralympic gold medallist was sentenced to nearly 13 and a half years behind bars for shooting his model partner multiple times through a door in his home on Valentine's Day in 2013.

He claimed he mistook her for an intruder, however, the courts didn't agree and he was found guilty of culpable homicide. An appeals court later upgraded his conviction to murder.

The 34-year-old has now served half his prison sentence and is up for early release, but as part of the parole process in South Africa, prisoners must 'acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions', as outlined by the country's department of correctional services.

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Pistorius in court in 2014. Credit: Alamy
Pistorius in court in 2014. Credit: Alamy

Pistorius has now written a letter to June and Barry Steenkamp, the parents of his former partner.

Their lawyer, Tania Koen, told the Mirror: "I cannot divulge the contents of that letter.

"It was quite emotionally distressing for them. They did not know it was coming and it was sent to me by his attorney."

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Koen spoke of the Steenkamps' distress when they found out their daughter's killer had been eligible for parole since July - and that a later-cancelled hearing had been set for October - having been told he wouldn't be released until March 2023.

They have also been asked by the prison service to meet Pistorius before his release.

Koen revealed that, while the 'victim-offender dialogue' was not compulsory for the victim's family, the Steenkamps were willing to meet him.

June and Barry Steenkamp in 2016. Credit: Alamy
June and Barry Steenkamp in 2016. Credit: Alamy
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She said: "Yes, they want to do that face to face.

"Barry has said for years he wants to meet Oscar and he has questions to ask. They are not emotionally prepared, but are prepared to meet Oscar.

"They accept the day will come when Oscar will be eligible for parole and they would give their input."

However, Koen added that they feel upset by the way Pistorius' parole has been handled, saying: "What was also very upsetting was the disregard for their emotional wellbeing.

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"They had to find out the parole board had already convened a date for parole and never advised them about it.

"The proper procedure was not followed."

According to the Mirror, Singabakho Nxumalo, of the prison service, confirmed the Steenkamps have been asked to meet Pistorius in a possible 'victim-offender dialogue'.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, News

Jess Hardiman
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