Reeva Steenkamp's parents release statement over Oscar Pistorius 'blood money'

Steenkamp's parents speak out on 'blood money'
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Reeva Steenkamp's parents Barry and June release a statement confirming that they will return the payments they received from Oscar Pistorius after he killed their daughter.

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp have released a statement claiming that they intend to return £6,300 to Oscar Pistorius after they received payments from the Paralympic champion.

The 27-year-old returned to the High Court in Pretoria this week for a sentencing hearing after he was found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter).

Pistorius was convicted of killing his girlfriend Steenkamp by firing four gunshots through a toilet door at his home in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

In court yesterday, it was revealed by Pistorius's probation officer Annette Vergeer that Steenkamp's parents Barry and June had rejected what prosecutor Gerrie Nel described as "blood money".

Today, lawyer Dup de Bruyn released a statement on behalf of Steenkamp's parents, which read: "After Miss Steenkamp (the deceased) was killed the parents were in financial difficulties. We were contacted soon afterwards by Mr Pistorius's lawyers with an offer that Mr Pistorius would contribute an amount towards the parents' rental and living expenses.

"When the parents were made aware of this offer, they considered it carefully but decided, for various reasons, that they did not want any payment from Mr. Pistorius. This is also why we were instructed to advise that no civil claim would be instituted."

It was also claimed that Steenkamp's parents were "quite surprised" that Pistorius's lawyers had mentioned the payments after the athlete had asked his late girlfriend's family to keep the information confidential.

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in Pretoria Magistrates Court for an indictment hearing on August 19, 2013
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