Oscar Pistorius: From Olympic fame to jail
South African amputee sprinting star Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
Here is a snapshot of the events that began on a fateful Valentine’s Day:
— FEBRUARY 2013–
14: South African police arrest Pistorius, a Paralympic and Olympic sprinter nicknamed the “Blade Runner”, for the killing of Steenkamp, shot four times with one of his guns at his Pretoria house.
15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged, denying murder “in the strongest terms”.
19: Pistorius claims in an affidavit that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and was “filled with horrible fear” that someone had sneaked into his home.
He fired through a locked bathroom door in what prosecutors term a “premeditated” murder.
20: Witnesses testify they heard arguing, a woman screaming and gunfire at Pistorius’s house the night of the slaying, police tell the court.
21: US sportswear giant Nike suspends its contract with Pistorius.
South African police name a top detective to the case after it emerges that the officer initially assigned to it faces attempted murder charges.
22: Pistorius is granted bail set at one million rand ($100,000, 75,000 euros).
— MARCH —
28: A court clears Pistorius for international travel, easing his strict bail terms.
— APRIL —
14: Pistorius is seen partying at a trendy Johannesburg hangout, media report.
— MAY —
20: Pistorius will not race this season, his agent says.
— JUNE —
28: Pistorius is to resume limited training for his mental wellbeing, but does not plan a return to competition, his family announces.
— JANUARY 2014–
23: Pistorius’s lawyers and Steenkamp’s family are discussing an out-of-court financial settlement, a lawyer says.
— FEBRUARY —
25: A judge rules that most of Pistorius’s trial can be broadcast live, but not his testimony or that of witnesses who ask not to be filmed.
— MARCH —
3: The trial opens in Pretoria, before an army of journalists from around the world, with the testimony of a neighbour who told the court she heard “terrible screams” from a woman and shots.
13: Pistorius vomits when a picture of the dead model’s body was flashed on the court’s television screens.
— APRIL —
7-15: Pistorius takes the witness stand and begins with a tearful apology to the family of the woman he shot dead.
This is followed by five days of often intense cross-examination, marked by several bouts of tears and breaks in the session.
Pistorius steadfastly denies any intention to kill Steenkamp.
— JUNE —
30: After a six-week break, a panel of three psychiatrists and a psychologist conclude that Pistorius was not suffering from mental illness.
He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of murder.
— AUGUST —
7: State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, in his final argument before the court, accuses Pistorius of concocting an alibi that led to a “snowball effect” of lies.
8: The trial concludes with closing arguments from the defence.
— SEPTEMBER —
12: Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide for shooting Steenkamp, but is cleared of murder.
— OCTOBER —
17: The prosecutor calls for a 10-year prison term, while the defence requests a non-custodial sentence served under house arrest.
21: Judge Thokozile Masipa sentences Pistorius to a maximum of five years in jail, the fallen sprinter is taken to Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison.