Shamed Oscar Pistorius says he is willing to spend 10 years in prison for killing his girlfriend – but shouldn’t serve a single day for murder.
And, in a sensational TV interview, he displays huge emotion, howling and crying before walking out in tears as he admits he can still “feel and smell” the blood.
The South African athlete killed Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door. A culpable homicide verdict was replaced with one of murder in December.
But, going into graphic detail, Pistorius insists the killing was an accident saying: “I heard a noise at the toilet and before I knew it I’d fired four shots.
“I opened the toilet door and immediately when I saw Reeva she was over the toilet. And I [breaks down], at that point I knew I’d killed her. I knew she was dead.
“And I just see blood and it’s just blood everywhere. [sobbing] It’s just blood everywhere… So much blood! [sobbing] and I don’t know what to do.”
Pistorius then sobs and wails into his hands and walks out of the chat.
In another part of the ITV interview, his voice breaks and he looks to the floor as he adds: “I did take Reeva’s life and I have to live with that. I can smell the blood. I can feel the warmness of it on my hands.
“And I understand the pain people feel, that loved her and miss her. I feel that same pain. I feel that same hate for myself. I feel that same difficulty in understanding this.”
The amputee sprinter insists he is innocent of murder and even believes Reeva would support him in his bid for freedom on a charge of culpable homicide.
He said: “What is difficult is dealing with this charge of murder. The day before we started the trial I sat with my lawyers and I said to them, ‘I will spend 10 years in jail for taking Reeva’s life, for culpable homicide, but I won’t spend a day in jail for murdering anyone’.
“If I was afforded the opportunity of redemption I would like to help the less fortunate like in my past. I’d like to believe Reeva would want me to live that life.”
Pistorius will discover his fate when he is sentenced for murder on July 7, which carries a minimum 15 years.
The ITV interview with Mark Williams-Thomas was filmed at his uncle’s home in Pretoria. The Steenkamp family declined to take part.
In December, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overruled lower court judge Judge Masipa’s original verdict, saying Pistorius must have known death would be a likely result of his actions. Pistorius has maintained he believed he was shooting at an intruder.