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Pistorius Trial

Oscar Pistorius ‘Has to Pay,’ Reeva Steenkamp’s Dad Testifies

PRETORIA, South Africa — The father of Reeva Steenkamp testified Tuesday that her fatal shooting at the hands of Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius "devastated" his family.

Barry Steenkamp said that he thinks of the slain model and law graduate constantly, even trying to imagine the horrific moment of her death.

Image: Barry Steenkamp
Barry Steenkamp looks on after testifying at Oscar Pistorius' sentencing hearing on Tuesday. DEAAN VIVIER / AFP - Getty Images

"Oscar has to pay for what he did," Steenkamp said, adding that he would like to talk to the double-amputee former track star in private at a later stage.

His voice breaking with emotion, Steenkamp spoke at Pistorius' sentencing hearing. The athlete was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in his home in 2013.

Pistorius is currently under house arrest after initially serving one year of a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter for shooting Reeva Steenkamp. But that conviction was overturned last year by an appeals court, which convicted Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who initially acquitted Pistorius of murder, will decide the new sentence. The hearing is scheduled to run through Friday. South Africa has a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for murder, although a judge can reduce that in some circumstances.

Image: Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius on Nov. 4, 2012
Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius on Nov. 4, 2012. LUCKY NXUMALO / AFP - Getty Images, file

Barry Steenkamp told the court about his wrenching, personal grief.

"She must have been in so much fear, pain," Steenkamp said, his hands shaking at times. "That is what I think of all the time."

Steenkamp says his daughter's death contributed to his heart and other health problems.

The sprinter known as "Blade Runner" looked downward as Barry Steenkamp testified at the High Court in Pretoria.

Image: Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius breaks down as he listens to testimony during his sentencing hearing on Tuesday. KIM LUDBROOK / EPA

Barry Steenkamp said that his wife June grieves just as much as he does despite what he called her "stone-faced" demeanor in public.

"I hear her at night," he added. "I hear her crying. I hear her talking to Reeva."

Speaking of his daughter's death, the victim's father said: "It devastated us."

On Monday, a prosecutor told the court that Pistorius has shown no remorse for murdering his girlfriend and that he only "feels sorry for himself."

However, a psychologist called by Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux told the sentencing hearing the athlete was on medication for depression, anxiety and insomnia.

"One would describe him as broken. In my opinion his current condition warrants hospitalization," Professor Jonathan Scholtz said.

'Blade Runner' Should Not Go to Jail for Murder: Psychologist 0:46

Scholtz also told the hearing that Pistorius had suffered financially and found asking others for assistance humiliating.

Pistorius lost millions of dollars in endorsements and sponsorships after reaching the pinnacle of his fame in London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in the Olympics.

Pistorius had enrolled in a correspondence course for a degree at the London School of Economics and had been offered a job with a charity working with children in Africa, Scholtz added.

The case has prompted a fierce debate in a country beset by high levels of violent crime. Some rights groups have alleged the white athlete has received preferential treatment.