OSCAR Pistorius sent a “distressing” letter to the parents of Reeva Steenakamp who he shot dead in cold blood, their lawyer revealed.
June and Barry Steenkamp described the former the 34-year-old Paralympic gold medalist’s letter as “like ripping a Band-Aid off a wound”.
Pistorius was convicted of murdering Reeva, 29, in 2015 and ultimately sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison.
The athlete – who was known as the Blade Runner – has now became eligible for parole under South African law after serving half his sentence.
In order to qualify for release, prisoners must “acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions” which led him to write his letter the Steenkamps.
The couple’s lawyer Tania Coen would not disclose the content of the letters.
But she told the Mirror: “It was quite emotionally distressing for them. They did not know it was coming and it was sent to me by his attorney.”
The Steenkamps want a face-to-face meeting with Pistorius before he is considered for early release from prison, as is their right under South Africa's victim-offender dialogue policy.
They have previously said they want to challenge Pistorius on why he shot their daughter.
“Yes, they want to do that face to face,” said Koen.
“Barry has said for years he wants to meet Oscar and he has questions to ask.
"They are not emotionally prepared, but are prepared to meet Oscar.
“They accept the day will come when Oscar will be eligible for parole and they would give their input.”
A parole hearing for Pistorius was scheduled for last month and then cancelled, partly because a meeting between Pistorius and the Steenkamps had not been arranged.
Koen slammed the way they had been treated saying: “What was also very upsetting was the disregard for their emotional wellbeing.
FACE-TO-FACE MEETING WITH KILLER
“They had to find out the parole board had already convened a date for parole and never advised them about it.”
The multiple Paralympic champion was initially found guilty of – culpable homicide an offence comparable to manslaughter – for shooting Steenkamp with his 9 mm pistol.
He claimed at his trial it was a tragic accident and he mistook her for a dangerous intruder.
But prosecutors appealed the manslaughter finding and secured a murder conviction.
Pistorius was sentenced to six years in jail for murder but prosecutors again appealed what they called a shockingly light punishment for murder.
The Supreme Court of Appeal then more than doubled his sentence in 2017.
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