Here’s a photograph I never thought I’d see. Oscar Pistorius behind bars.
I’ve got a little claim to fame here. This picture was actually taken by my friend’s uncle. He works for the Sun as a photographer – he’s a good bloke though, honest!
I am amazed Pistorius will serve a single day. I always thought he would – well I won’t say “walk”, not because it’s a awful joke used a million times already but because he obviously can walk, in fact he can run faster than any of us. I’ll just settle for “never serve a single day in prison” instead.
I’m pleasantly surprised too. I thought the old public sympathy and “he’s been such a role model” attitude from sections of a gullible press and public would have seen him serve no time at all.
You can understand when some people go on trial the public just don’t want to accept that they are guilty. For instance Rolf Harris, a man watched by generations of people on TV growing up as kids – someone they actually liked. People often just don’t want to face the fact that they could have got it so wrong. For instance we had this brilliant Latin teacher at school. He was a right laugh and the first 5-10 minutes of every lesson were always spent telling jokes. Next thing you know he’s getting exposed in a Sunday People sting – perving over young boys online in a chat room called “FIST”. Such a shame to discover someone you thought highly of was just a dirty old nonce.
I’ve never understood the love for Oscar though, in fact I’ve always found him hugely unpleasant. There was the time he was dropped from the able bodied relay team and gave a really sulky interview, all surly and bitter and critical of his team bosses. I don’t blame him for wanting to compete with able bodied athletes but I did disagree when he was allowed to. Sorry, it just isn’t the same. And I always got the feeling once he had competed in the able bodied events he felt the Paralympics was beneath him anyway. He certainly felt he only needed to show up to win in London 2012, evidenced by his cry baby act when he got beaten and complained bitterly that the Brazilian winner had better blades (so they can give you an advantage then?)
So I’d spent the past 7 months convinced that the South African courts would free their beloved son, albeit one of their most self centred and most arrogant beloved sons. I just took the view he’d get off as easily as if Jonny Wilkinson would if someone in England had accused him of eating pigeons’ heads in Trafalgar Square while punching grannies and then going off to rob a few graves at night. Well I guess it’s nice to be wrong sometimes!
It’s very important that he did get some prison time. Otherwise anyone in South Africa who wanted to murder his wife could just wait for her to go to the bog and shoot her through the door claiming it was an intruder. Now at least anyone planning that caper knows it isn’t an instant acquittal. So his custodial sentence will actually save lives. (There’s no need to add that no copycat killings would have occurred if there wasn’t a cat to copy in the first place).
One of the saddest parts was last week when it emerged that Reeva Steenkamp’s parents had refused Pistorius’ offer of £20k as some kind of settlement, rightly calling it “blood money”. But then it emerged Pistorius had in fact been paying the Steenkamp’s family a monthly sum since the shooting, something like £350 a month. Obviously in comparison to their daughter’s life it’s a tiny amount. But it’s a small sum whichever way you look at it. It transpired that Reeva SteenKamp supported her parents, who do not work. They needed the money to live. Much as they didn’t want to have to take it, they had to survive.
I’m sure they are proud people (I tend to imagine all South Africans as being proud). They didn’t want his money – indeed have paid it back now that they have given interviews about the whole tragic business and are now financially secure. But they had little choice.
And that’s when it sort of dawned on me. I just had this impression that for the glamorous beautiful people of the world, money is no object and not only they but all their family live in comfort. As for all this reality show crap that she was into – the stuff I’ve so much disdain for – well the girl’s just earning a living. She was earning a living to help look after her folks.
I just felt so sorry for them. Those poor people will never see their beautiful daughter again and in the midst of their grief they face these suggestions that they are somehow hypocrites – because they took small sums of money to survive since their breadwinner daughter had been shot dead. They didn’t ask to be there. Well obviously, they didn’t want to be there.
I hope the state appeals the verdict. Not because it would get the premeditated murder charge to stick but because of the hassle it would cause Pistorius. I’d like to see them bankrupt him with appeals and cause him as much stress as possible with endless hearings. The trouble is, do people like Pistorius even stress? Perhaps it would hurt the family more than it would Pistorius. I’m sure as hell he doesn’t feel remorse. He’s fooling no-one with his pathetic whining and breaking down in court that’s for sure. And I include the judge when I say that. Just clock her face in this video….
Speaking of M’Lady, she had this to say when acquitting Pistorius of the more serious charge of premeditated murder:
“there is no reason, based on the evidence, to doubt Pistorius’s claim that he thought there was an intruder.”
Yeah, no reason whatsoever to doubt it. Apart from the fact the place is guarded like Fort Knox, the ultra low burglary rate in that compound, all the witnesses who heard arguing and screaming, the fact Steenkamp wasn’t in her bed when he left the room and the totally circumstantial fact he’s a really angry and very spoilt gun nut. No reasons there at all.
Well that’s justice for you. Out in 10 months they reckon. Two final points post verdict:
I was watching on Sky Sports yesterday as they looked through the various sentences he might serve and whether he would compete again. They mentioned that people serving prison sentences under house arrest are allowed to work and “go to church” (at least I got a laugh out of that last part) – so perhaps he could get released in 10 months and be allowed to compete while under house arrest?
And I just thought who cares if he ever competes again – honestly, who gives a toss? How much of a draw is it anyway – when we’re being honest and not just patronising disabled people – watching Oscar Pistorius win by half the track?
Michael Phelps got a 6 month ban from USA swimming for drink driving, putting him out of the World Championships. The IOC has said Pistorius is free to compete when he has served his sentence. Do they really need a convicted killer that badly?