Is this a man we should take pity on or have the utmost contempt for? Give us your thoughts below.
A judge has dramatically agreed to release graphic pictures of Reeva Steenkamp’s gunshot wounds after her parents begged for the ‘world to see’ the pain Oscar Pistorius had inflicted on their daughter.
The 29-year-old model was struck in the head, elbow and hip as she cowered behind a toilet door at the runner’s house three years ago.
Pistorius shot her with three military-grade Black Talon bullets that are designed to expand upon impact, wreaking devastating damage to the flesh it strikes.
Some of the pictures show her hair matted with blood and severe bruising around her eye which a pathologist said during his trial was caused by the impact of the bullet on her skull.
Judge Thokozile Masipa allowed six crime scene images to be released after Mr and Mrs Steenkamp went through the torturous process of choosing which ones they wanted to be shared with the public.
A source told MailOnline: ‘There were scores for them to look at and they bravely chose the ones that showed the horrific impact of her injuries.
‘It was a very painful process for them, but they are very anxious that people know exactly what their daughter went through on the night she died.’
MailOnline has chosen to publish some of the pictures, which we have muzzed, but the others are far too graphic to show.
The sensational ruling came during the Paralympian’s murder sentencing hearing where he had earlier teetered on his stumps in the courtroom in a desperate last bid for leniency.
The athlete, known as the Blade Runner, looked humiliated when he was asked to remove his prosthetic limbs during the televised hearing which will decide his murder sentence.
There was an awkward moment when Barry Steenkamp was forced to stand to make way for his daughter’s killer as he left the dock for the dramatic demonstration.
The spectacle of the one-time sporting superstar’s demonstration across the court room prompted a number of family members, fans and members of the public to break down in tears.
His T-shirt wet with sweat and his red eyes filled with tears, Pistorius paused at the side of the court to remove his prosthetic limbs in the full view of the packed court.
Loud sobs echoed around the wood-pannelled room as all eyes watched Pistorius move unsteadily, and much dramatically reduced in height, towards the front of the court.
As he struggled to stand still in front of the judge, and in the glare of live television coverage, a cameraman had to step forward to support him.
His therapist leapt to his aid, guiding him towards the front bench of the court which he clutched to maintain his balance.
Pistorius, 29, appeared so humiliated by the demonstration that he could only stare at the floor, tears flooding down his cheeks, as his lawyer told the court how he did not wish ‘to hide behind his fame’.
When the strain became too much, he knelt down on a cushion before wiping his eyes with a tissue passed to him by one of his legal team.
Pistorius’s sister Aimee, and his close friend Jenna Edkins, wiped tears from their eyes at the excruciating demonstration of the athlete’s vulnerability.
Mr Steenkamp, 72, then had to stand for a second time to allow the wretched Pistorius to return to the sanctuary of the dock where he bent over, his powerful shoulders shaking as he sobbed.
Closing his powerful argument in favour of leniency, Mr Roux reminded the judge that punishment was ‘not meant to break the offender’.
Pistorius was born without fibulas – calf bones – and at 11 months old, his parents made the difficult choice to have both of his legs amputated below the knee, enabling him to be fitted with prosthetic legs.
Doctors told his parents that the operation would be less traumatic before their son learned to walk.
During his evidence in the witness box, Pistorius described the discomfort of wearing prosthetic legs, or his iconic carbon blades, and the sores that he had to tend on a regular basis. His sentencing hearing heard how his stumps became infected while in jail.
State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel later said he would support Mr Steenkamp’s demand for the ‘world to see’ the extent of Reeva’s injuries.
He made an application for the graphic crime scene pictures – which showed Reeva’s bloodied, broken body – to be made public after consulting with her parents.
‘Isn’t it time for the world to see what Oscar Pistorius did with Black Talon rounds to Reeva Steenkamp’s head?’ he told the court, referring to the expanding bullets used by Pistorius in the killing.
The deadly ammunition is used by the military and designed to expand upon impact, wreaking devastating damage to the flesh it strikes.
The application immediately prompted the runner’s family and supporters to shake their heads and clutch one another in horror.
Pistorius slumped forward in the dock, grasping his red face in his hands at the suggestion. And his brother Carl was quick to express his disgust at the prosecutor’s application on Twitter.
He tweeted: ‘This application is distasteful to all parties. Except perhaps some parties who stand to profit from such.’
Mr Nel said the pictures were handed into court and should be made available as public documents.
He said the only reason he had asked for them to be banned from being shared during the murder trial was ‘to protect the integrity of the deceased’.
Now that the Steenkamps wanted the restriction to be lifted, Mr Nel said it would be left to the discretion of the media to use their own judgment about whether to publish them or not.
Judge Masipa said she would give her decision about the application at the time of the sentencing on July 6.
Mr Nel also questioned Pistorius’s claim of remorse, despite giving no consistent explanation for what happened on the night Reeva was shot dead.
‘Remorse without a credible explanation is impossible – remorse for what?’ he demanded to know.