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Oscar Pistorius must 'pay for his crime', says Steenkamp's father

AFPAFP 14/06/2016 Kim Ludbrook


Reeva Steenkamp's father broke down in court Tuesday as he told a dramatic sentencing hearing that Oscar Pistorius must "pay for his crime" of shooting dead his daughter three years ago.

The Paralympic athlete killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

In March, Pistorius's lawyers failed in their legal bid to reverse a Supreme Court of Appeal judgement that upgraded his original conviction from culpable homicide -- the equivalent of manslaughter -- to murder.

Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva Steenkamp, testifies in court in Pretoria on June 14, 2016 © Provided by AFP Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva Steenkamp, testifies in court in Pretoria on June 14, 2016

"It has been very difficult for me to forgive... I feel that Oscar has to pay for what he did. He has to pay for his crime," Barry Steenkamp, 73, said shaking with emotion and in tears.

"She must have been in so much fear and pain," he said, reliving the horror of learning how she was killed. "It must have been absolutely awful."

South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius in court in Pretoria on June 14, 2016 © Provided by AFP South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius in court in Pretoria on June 14, 2016

He also said that he believed the couple had argued on the night of the murder -- disputing Pistorius's claims.

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