ColumnistsVogue Williams

Reeva got justice at last, but our courts sent bad signal on domestic violence

Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius
Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius

I WAS shocked to read the news that Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder.

I fully believe he murdered his beautiful girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but after his original trial it had seemed he had got away with it.

I always felt so sorry for her family; firstly having to go through the pain of hearing their child had died and then to see her killer get away with it.

He was originally handed a five-year sentence, only one of which was spent in prison. He was then put under house arrest for his remaining four years.

I saw selfies emerge of him with his friends after he had arrived home for his house arrest and to say it was distasteful is an understatement.

This is a man who shot his young girlfriend through a locked door four times.

How was it possible that after a measly year he was at home living it up with his friends while her life is so brutally cut short?

I don’t understand how a court system can get something so wrong, but unfortunately it happens all the time.

I watched some of the Pistorius trial on TV and I always thought he seemed guilty. If an intruder enters your house in South Africa you can protect yourself, but not by shooting the intruder unless there is a definite threat to your life. The toilet door was closed so there was no real threat.

Reeva was meant to be asleep in the bed beside him, surely he would have known she wasn’t there when he awoke. He then shot through the closed door of the bathroom and by then he would have heard her screams.

In South Africa, they seemed like the golden couple. She was a budding TV presenter and he was an Olympian; what went so terribly wrong that he killed her?

At just 29, Reeva Steenkamp was dead, and now her parents have been dragged through the heartbreak once again.

Oscar Pistorius is now a convicted murderer and finally Reeva and her parents can have some sort of justice. Pistorius is looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years, but this will be at the discretion of the judge.

It seems his crime has finally caught up with him. In Ireland this week, there was another horrendous case of domestic violence by convicted Garda killer Pearse McAuley against his estranged wife Pauline Tully.

He stabbed her 13 times on Christmas Eve and told her sons aged four and seven to come in and say goodbye to their mother

He was sentenced to 12 years with the last four suspended. Once again the wrong message gets sent to the victims of domestic violence.