News

Pistorius to sell home where girlfriend was fatally shot

Pistorius to sell home where girlfriend was fatally shot

FOR SALE: The track star, nicknamed the "Blade Runner", has not returned to the house since Steenkamp's killing. Photo: Reuters

By Tosin Sulaiman

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Oscar Pistorius will sell the luxury Pretoria home in which he shot and killed his girlfriend to pay his legal expenses due to an unexpected delay in the trial, his lawyer said on Thursday.

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is on trial for the murder of 29-year old model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

Pistorius has been forced to sell his home in the upmarket Silver Woods estate because the legal process is likely to take longer than the three weeks initially indicated by the state, Brian Webber, the lawyer handling the sale, said in a statement.

“It has become necessary to sell Mr. Pistorius’ home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs,” Webber said.

“Mr. Pistorius has been funding his own defense from the outset. Due to the delay in finalizing the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset, has had to be made.”

Webber added that the property was handed back to the track star by the authorities more than a year ago. Although a decision was taken to keep it sealed until after the trial, Pistorius had been forced to reconsider.

The track star, nicknamed the “Blade Runner”, has not returned to the house since Steenkamp’s killing.

“Mr. Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again,” Webber said.

Pistorius’ lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on to achieve global fame as the “fastest man on no legs,” running on carbon-fiber prosthetic limbs to win gold medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics.

He also reached the 400 metres semi-finals at the London 2012 Olympics, competing against able-bodied athletes.

The trial, which began on March 3, was adjourned on Thursday and Friday due to a national holiday on Friday in South Africa.

On Wednesday, the court heard that Steenkamp was first shot in the hip, not the head, supporting the testimony of earlier witnesses who said they heard screams during a volley of shots [ID:nL6N0MG3PR].

(Reporting by Tosin Sulaiman, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Recent Headlines

5 hours ago in Sports, Weird

Shall I compare thee to a carburetor? Indy 500 gets a poet

indy500383817720211

An Indiana University student who is a poet and a performer has been named the Indianapolis 500's first official poet since the early 20th century.

6 hours ago in National

Survey: Most Americans support usage fees to fix crumbling roads

highwaysREUTERS

The cost to repair and upgrade the U.S. surface transportation system to meet current and future demands is in the "hundreds of billions of dollars," the U.S. Government Accountability Office said last year.

7 hours ago in National

Volkswagen says emissions scandal bill could get much bigger

vwREUTERS

Volkswagen's CEO says the company will launch new electric vehicles and set up a new firm focused on operations like car-sharing as it seeks to get past its scandal over cheating on diesel emissions tests.

9 hours ago in Sports

PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans preview

25-overlay-9

Headlining the field is No. 2 in the FedExCup standings, Jason Day, who is looking to capture his third victory of 2016.

9 hours ago in Sports

No Curry, no problem

10-overlay-11

The Golden State Warriors did not skip a beat without key point guard Stephen Curry, routing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday to seal a 4-1 series triumph in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.