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  1. ITV Report

Oscar Pistorius: I don't want to go back to jail and Reeva wouldn't want me to waste my life behind bars

Oscar Pistorius has said he doesn't want to go back to jail and Reeva wouldn't want him to waste his life behind bars.

The former Paralympian given his first television interview to ITV about the night he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day 2013 as he prepares to return to jail.

The athlete said he would not argue with those who believe “they should lock me up and throw the key away”.

But he said he doesn't want to "waste his life sitting there" and if "I was afforded the opportunity of redemption I would like to help the less fortunate".

He added: "I would like to believe if Reeva could look down upon me she would want me to live that life."

The former Paralympian has been convicted of murder after his original conviction of culpable homicide was overturned by South Africa's Supreme Court.

In the ITV programme Oscar Pistorius: The Interview, Pistorius gives his account of what happened the night he killed his girlfriend and is questioned about key details of the prosecution case which resulted in his conviction.

He said that many people believe he intentionally killed Steenkamp, which was not proven.

“Reeva was a fantastic person, but if their premise is based on the fact that I took her life intentionally, which has not been found then it’s a very sad thing,” he said.

I understand the pain people feel, that loved her and miss her. I feel that same pain.

And I look back and I think, I always think – how did this possibly happen? I think, how could this have happened? How could this have happened?

– Pistorius

He also reiterated his account of the night he shot and killed Reeva, saying it was a tragic accident as he believed an intruder was breaking into his home.

Pistorius said he was "screaming" and begging God it was not Reeva in the toilet after he fired at the door.

"I opened the toilet door and immediately when I saw Reeva she was over the toilet, she had slumped over the toilet.

"At that point I knew I had killed her, I knew she was dead. I went down onto my knees and pulled her onto me."

This clip contains images of the crime scene that some viewers may find distressing

Prosecutors dismissed his account as lies, saying the athlete murdered Steenkamp after a row prompted by his jealousy over an ex-boyfriend.

They say she fled to the bathroom and barricaded herself in the toilet, pursued by Pistorius who first tried to smash the door down with a cricket bat and then returned with his 9mm weapon, firing into the door from point-blank range.

Pistorius refutes their argument that he broke down the door with a cricket bat.

"I can't even hold a cricket bat up if I don't have my arms to balance and the mark on the door is too high to hit if I have my legs off."

He added: "I can't run away, and I can't defend myself."

He also talks about his relationship with Reeva, the allegations of his previous abusive behaviour towards her and and his previous use of firearms.

Pistorius is interviewed at his uncle's home, where he is living while awaiting sentencing, which is expected to be delivered later this month.

The Steenkamp family were asked to take part in the programme, but declined.

  • Oscar Pistorius: The Interview is to be shown on Friday 24 June at 9pm on ITV