Pistorius learns trial date over alledged murder

Oscar Pistorius on the track

In what will be his biggest test to date south African star Oscar Pistorius is to stand trial in spring next year accused of murder.

In what is almost certainly the highest profile court case, involving a sporting personality since the trial of OJ Simpson, South African Paralympian, Oscar Pistorius yesterday learned that his fate is to be heard on 3 March.

The Blade Runner as he is known around the world, due to the bow-like prosthetic legs he uses, is to stand trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was fatally shot during an incident at the athlete’s home in February this year.

26-year-old Pistorius who denies murder and instead insists that Ms Steenkamp’s death was an accident after he mistook her for an intruder, attended the Pretoria magistrates court and visibly wiped away tears as he awaited proceedings to start.

During the incident it is believed that Miss Steenkamp was locked in the bathroom or the stars house before he fired four round through the door, killing her, neighbours reported in the moments before the gunshots the heard a woman screaming and then silence.

Dressed in a smart suit and wiping a tear from his eye, Pistorius answered only to confirm his name and responding to a question about his current condition, he said: “I’m fine considering everything,” Pistorius then remained silent as his brother and sister looked on from his side.

The trial is likely to be heard over a period of 17 days, and if found guilty Pistorius could face a 25 year life sentence.

image: © Chris Eason