Steenkamp parents ‘accept sentence’


Published: Wednesday 22nd October 2014 by The News Editor

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The mother of the model shot dead by Oscar Pistorius has said she does “not feel that justice has been done” – but insisted she accepts the sentence imposed by the judge.

Amputee athlete Pistorius, 27, known as the Blade Runner, was yesterday jailed for five years for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, but he could be out of prison in 10 months.

The sentence has been criticised by some as too lenient and sparked calls for it to be increased.

Miss Steenkamp’s parents told ITV’s Good Morning Britain they accepted the sentence and “don’t want revenge”.

But they said their daughter’s death in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year remained shrouded in mystery, and ” only Oscar knows” the truth.

Miss Steenkamp’s mother June told the programme: “I think the law must take its course, we have to accept what has happened. If there is an appeal, well, there is an appeal. There is nothing we can change about that. But it will be difficult to go on even further, again.

“We may not feel that justice has been done, but we have just got to accept what the judge decided. That’s the law, although it could have been completely different if her decision was different.

“Not everyone is entirely happy. But … the facts that she had before her maybe weren’t enough. But we have to live.”

Mrs Steenkamp said the family had been “disappointed in her (the judge’s) judgment”, but felt the judge was left with few options because “she only had certain facts before her”.

Mrs Steenkamp said the family are “very settled with the sentence”.

She added: “He has got to pay for what he has done and it is not that we want vengeance or anything, or for him to suffer with his disabilities. But at the same time, we feel satisfied that he will realise that you can’t go around doing things like that.

“We don’t want revenge, we want a fair punishment under the circumstances of his disability. We wouldn’t have wanted him to go to jail and be abused and I feel that it is fair.

“He will realise that he can’t go around doing that. He can’t kill somebody like that.”

Her husband Barry said: “We have gone along with the judge and her decision. Only Oscar knows whether that sentence is acceptable to him. I’ve got my feelings to the whole thing. But we do accept what the judge handed down.”

In the emotionally-charged interview, Mrs Steenkamp said she was pleased Pistorius would serve time in jail, but she and her husband had been left with a searing pain in their hearts which will last a lifetime.

She said: “I think he has lost everything, but now he has to pay for what he has done to our daughter. No words can actually describe what that has done to us. We have to live with this now for the rest of our lives – without her.

“And it is so difficult to go through this and have that pain in your heart and in your soul for her. We will see her again one day when we are in the same place. But still, there is a great, great empty space for us and it is very hard.

“But I think where Oscar is concerned, he has to pay for what he has done. He actually did do it and did kill her and he admitted he did that. Even though we are not completely happy with the evidence that actually came through – there is a big missing piece of the puzzle. But we still feel that there is more to the whole story than there was stated.”

She said she had “already forgiven a long time ago” because it is too damaging to carry that hatred with her.

She added: “If it was a mistake, he has made a tremendous, unbelievable, unforgiveable mistake, but I can’t carry that side with me. It will make you ill. We don’t want revenge.”

Her husband said: “Oscar has lost everything. We have lost our daughter. And if there is more to this whole unfortunate saga, it is only Oscar Pistorius that knows and he is the one that will have to live with it for the rest of his life.”

Published: Wednesday 22nd October 2014 by The News Editor

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