Trials of Oscar Pistorius: What happened the night Reeva Steenkamp was murdered?

New BBC true crime series The Trials of Oscar Pistorius has already caused controversy after its trailer failed to mention murder victim, Reeva Steenkamp.

Reeva was 29 years old with aspirations of becoming a lawyer when she was killed at the hands of Pistorius – a Paralympian known around the world as Blade Runner.

Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, has also condemned the series, saying that she was ‘disturbed’ by news that the film was made, and dubbed it an ‘insult to her memory’.

But the filmmaker insists he aims to ‘give additional context’ to the story, and will feature interviews from several individuals described by the BBC as being ‘close to the case’.

Ahead of the release, we look back at what has been determined so far in the courts, and Pistorius’ defence in the killing.

Here’s what what we know as fact, as the new four-part series launches.

What happened on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed?

On Valentine’s Day, 2013, Reeva and her new boyfriend Oscar had spent the evening at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

While the chain of events remain unclear, at around 3am, Reeva was shot dead in the athlete’s bathroom.

Pistorius opened fire on the door with a gun using ‘black talon’ ammunition – which are designed to open on impact to cause more damage.

According to the pathologist, Reeva sustained a fatal wound to the head, with shots also hitting her pelvis and arm.

Pistorius then bashed down the door with a cricket bat, and was the one that called the police.

Did Oscar Pistorius confess to murdering Reeva?

Not quite – while Pistorius acknowledged that he was the one who fired the shots that killed Reeva, he built a ‘trespasser’ defence, claiming he woke up and believed she was an intruder, and so shot at the door.

As a double amputee, he walked over to the door on his stumps, and claims it was this vulnerability in the situation that made him quick to shoot.

He alleges that it was only after shooting, and returning to bed, that he realised Reeva was missing, and he bashed the bathroom door down with a cricket bat to discover her body.

He then called the police and ambulance.

Pistorius’s version of events has been heavily contested by Reeva’s family and friends, however, saying it didn’t make sense that a burglar would lock themselves in a bathroom, and he would’ve noticed on waking up that Reeva was no longer in bed next to him.

She also had her phone with her at the time of her death.

What was Oscar Pistorius charged with in the death of Reeva Steenkamp?

In 2014, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that Pistorius was not guilty of murder, but was guilty of ‘culpable homicide’ – because of his used of ‘excessive force’ and ‘negligence’ in using a gun during the incident, even if it was a burglar.

She sentenced him to five years in prison, of which he served 10 months.

In December 2015, the Supreme Court overruled the verdict, convicting him of murder and sentencing him to six years in prison.

This was then extended to 13 years and five months in prison in November 2017, in accordance with the minimum South African sentence of 15 years, including the previous time he had spent in jail.

Pistorius will be eligible for parole in 2023.

The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius is available on BBC iPlayer.

MORE : BBC pulls Oscar Pistorius documentary trailer and issues statement after backlash

MORE : Oscar Pistorius documentary trailer hit with backlash for ignoring name of murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

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