'I will carry the loss of Reeva with me for the rest of my life'

Feb 15, 2014, 01:20 IST | Agencies

South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius breaks his silence and speaks of his sorrow in a rare public statement on the first anniversary of the day he fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius, the South African paralympian due to face trial next month for shooting his girlfriend dead last Valentine’s Day, has issued a rare public statement saying he is “consumed with sorrow” by what happened which he would carry with him for “the rest of my life”.

Pistorius (27), maintained that what happened was a “devastating accident” and expressed regret for the “heartache” it had caused Reeva’s parents, family and friends.

The statement was placed on Pistorius’ website www.oscarpistorius.com and announced in a tweet from the runner at 1 am, just two hours before the exact time he shot Steenkamp one year ago.

“A few words from my heart,” read the tweet, Pistorius’ first communication since his tearful statement in court shortly after the murder. Pistorius, who is known as “Blade Runner” for the carbon-fibre blades he runs on, was arrested on Valentine’s Day last year after shooting Steenkamp three times through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home.

He claimed he thought she was an intruder. The prosecution say he shot Steenkamp, a law graduate and FHM model, after a row.

Pistorius is due to stand trial at Pretoria’s High Court on March 3 for premeditated murder and possession of 38 unlicensed bullets. Pistorius faces a possible life sentence with a minimum 25 years in prison if he is convicted of premeditated murder for fatally shooting Reeva.

It only gets worse: Reeva’s parents
Saying that “nothing will ever be the same”, Steenkamp’s mother June said that she would attend next month’s trial. “Yes, I will be at the trial. For me, for us and for Reeva, but it will not bring back our beautiful baby,” she said. “It never gets easier. In fact, it only gets worse.” In two memorial adverts, family members paid tribute to “our angel in heaven”. “We miss you so very much but know that you are in the arms of our Lord,” said relatives in Cape Town. Family based in the United Kingdom said: “We will never forget that tragic Valentine’s Day. God came and picked His most beautiful flower to take to heaven.”

From love to death: A timeline

>> December 5, 2012: Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp confirm they are a couple after being pictured at the South African Sport Awards

>> February 13, 2013: Steenkamp excitedly tweets ahead of her first Valentine's Day with boyfriend Pistorius

>> February 14: Police outside Pistorius' house in Pretoria after neighbours hear gunshots around 4 am. Cops confirm he has been charged with murder and will appear in court

>> February 15: Pistorius breaks down during his first court appearance in Pretoria

>> February 19: The body of Steenkamp arrives at the Victoria Park Crematorium ahead of her memorial service in Port Elizabeth

>> August 19: Pistorius is told he will stand trial in March 2014

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