Oscar Pistorius could leave prison as early as August. The disgraced South African Paralympian, who was sentenced to five years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, hopes to work with children after his release.
A lawyer for the former sprint runner said that although Pistorius realizes that achieving his former glory is unlikely, he hopes to “take it on the chin” if he is released on parole in August. Under South African law, he could be paroled after 10 months in prison.
Lawyer Rohan Kruger told the Sunday Times his client is finding prison life “very lonely,” saying Pistorius spends most of his time reading the Bible and praying. When he gets out on parole, Pistorius plans to coach children in “whatever opportunity comes up.” His legal team expects his parole conditions to be strict, including a psychological program and a ban on the use of alcohol and drugs.
“He will leave prison in three months’ time and wherever he goes, he will be Oscar Pistorius. There is no way a man as famous as him can change his name,” Kruger told the paper. “He will have to lift his head and take it on the chin.”
Pistorius, who earned the nickname Blade Runner after becoming a Paralympic champion, was convicted of culpable homicide after shooting and killing Steenkamp, his girlfriend of three months, on Feb. 14, 2013. He has maintained he mistook her for an intruder. He was sentenced in October to a maximum of five years sentence for culpable homicide.
Kruger said his client is penniless after selling all his possessions to pay his legal fees for his 20-month trial. Even so, Pistorius has rejected all film and book deals offered to him while he has been in prison. His lawyer described him as “destroyed, in bits,” adding it would take a long time before he can come to terms with what has happened to him.
Prosecutors have been allowed to appeal Pistorius’ murder charge acquittal in December. There is no date set yet for the hearing in Bloemfontein.
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