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Oscar Pistorius timeline: from Paralympic hero to murder conviction

How events unfurled after the death of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius

Four years have passed since Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home in Pretoria, South Africa, starting his descent from sporting hero to murder convict.

The former athlete was the poster boy of the Paralympics. He was born without fibula bones in his lower legs and had them both amputated below the knee before he turned one. However, by the age of 17 he was winning his first Paralympic gold at the 2004 Games in Athens and went on to win five more in Beijing and London.

He made history in 2012 as the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics - but everything changed the following year.

Here's how events unfurled from that date.

14 February 2013: Pistorius is arrested at his home in Pretoria on suspicion of murdering Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, law graduate and domestic violence campaigner. Early reports relay details of "Oscar's bloody Valentine", during which he fired four shots through his closed bathroom door, killing Steenkamp, who was inside. The athlete claims he mistakenly believed his girlfriend of three months to be an intruder.

15 February 2013: Pistorius bursts into tears at Pretoria Magistrate's Court when the charge of premeditated murder is read out.

19 February 2013: Steenkamp's friends and family gather for her funeral in Port Elizabeth. Her brother Adam, delivering the eulogy, tells the congregation: "There's a space missing inside all of the people that she knew that can't be filled again."

22 February 2013: Pistorius is granted bail of one million rand (£58,700) under conditions that he surrenders his passport and any weapons. The travel restrictions are later eased, allowing him to compete outside South Africa, although he never does.

3 March 2014: The trial begins and swiftly becomes one of the most sensational of the 21st century. Prosecutor Gerrie "Bulldog" Nel and defence lawyer Barry Roux grill witnesses and spar in front of Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Witnesses include neighbours who heard the sound of gunshots, as well as police, forensics experts, psychiatrists and one of Pistorius's ex-girlfriends.

The Paralympian cries and retches into a bucket during his own testimony. He also, at one point, removes his prosthetic legs as the defence attempts to show how vulnerable he felt when he reached for his gun.

Steenkamp's father Barry gives an emotional testimony, telling the court he has forgiven his daughter's killer but wants him to "pay" for what he had done. "What happened devastated us. I wouldn't wish that on anybody in the world," he says.

12 September 2014: Judge Masipa finds Pistorius not guilty of murder, but convicts him of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, similar to manslaughter under UK law, saying he had acted "negligently" in firing the shots but had believed "that there was an intruder".

21 October 2014: Sentenced to five years in prison, as well as a three-year suspended sentence for a separate firearms charge, Pistorius is taken to Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria. Prosecutors later announce they will appeal the verdict.

19 October 2015: A little less than 12 months into his five-year sentence, Pistorius is released on parole and confined to his uncle's home in Pretoria under house arrest.

3 November 2015: Prosecutors tell the Supreme Court of Appeal that Pistorius should be charged with murder, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of at least 15 years.

3 December 2015: Pistorius's original conviction is overturned and he is found guilty of murder. The five-judge panel says at the appeal court say Masipa made "fundamental errors" in her application of the law and Pistorius "must have foreseen the potentially fatal consequences of his actions", even if he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

6 July 2016: Masipa sentences Pistorius to six years imprisonment, saying there were "substantial and compelling circumstances" to reduce the usual 15-year minimum term for murder. She adds that the court has a duty to correct the continuing misconception that he intentionally killed Steenkamp. The athlete returns to jail.

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