Oscar Pistorius is free after being smuggled out of prison by officials after serving half his 13-year jail term – as pictures re-emerge of prosthetic legs kept by his cell toilet and family photos on his wall

Oscar Pistorius is a free man today after being smuggled out of prison by officials.

The Blade Runner was escorted out of Atteridgeville Correctional Centre and taken to his new home on the estate of his uncle Arnold Pistorius outside Pretoria, some 11 years after he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He was granted an early release from prison on November 24, 2023, after a parole board review determined the 37-year-old was fit for social reintegration, and set his release date for January 5 of this year. 

Parole officers insisted he would be treated no differently from other inmates, but he was allowed a private exit, despite dozens of journalists on TV crews, waiting at the main gate.

The disgraced Paralympian is ‘now at home’ after his release on parole Friday, authorities said, after a police car was seen pulling into his uncle’s home in the upscale Waterkloof suburb of Pretoria.

The announcement came at around 8:30am, indicating corrections officials had released the world-famous double-amputee Olympic runner in the early hours. 

Upon his release, images emerged of a previous jail cell showing the conditions in which the former Paralympian lived. His prosthetic legs are seen propped up in the corner of the small dingy cell, and family photos were plastered on the wall. 

Meanwhile, Steenkamp’s mother June said in a statement she is the one ‘serving a life sentence’ in her grief, and wished that the release of the man who murdered her daughter would help bring her some peace.

Oscar Pistorius (pictured in the dock in 2013) has been released from prison after 11 years for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

South African Olympic Oscar Pistorius, right, and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp arrive for an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2012 (file photo). Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door in 2013

South African Olympic Oscar Pistorius, right, and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp arrive for an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2012 (file photo). Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door in 2013

A view inside one of the prison cells of Oscar Pistorius inside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Pretoria, South Africa July 8, 2016

A view inside one of the prison cells of Oscar Pistorius inside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Pretoria, South Africa July 8, 2016

Prosthetic legs sit inside the prison cell of Oscar Pistorius inside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Pretoria, South Africa July 8, 2016

Prosthetic legs sit inside the prison cell of Oscar Pistorius inside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Pretoria, South Africa July 8, 2016

Family photos were seen on Pistorius' jail cell wall

Family photos were seen on Pistorius’ jail cell wall

A view of the prison cell of Oscar Pistorius inside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Pretoria, South Africa July 8, 2016. Family photos are seen framed above his bed

A view of the prison cell of Oscar Pistorius inside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Pretoria, South Africa July 8, 2016. Family photos are seen framed above his bed

Prison officials search a car at the main entrance of the Atteridgeville Prison in Pretoria. Pistorius was freed via a back entrance today

Prison officials search a car at the main entrance of the Atteridgeville Prison in Pretoria. Pistorius was freed via a back entrance today

Members of the media set up outside the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, where South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, convicted of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, was released on parole

Members of the media set up outside the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, where South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, convicted of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, was released on parole

A South African Police Service (SAPS) vehicle is seen outside Oscar Pistorius' uncle's house in Waterkloof, a suburb of Pretoria, on January 5, 2024

A South African Police Service (SAPS) vehicle is seen outside Oscar Pistorius’ uncle’s house in Waterkloof, a suburb of Pretoria, on January 5, 2024

Journalists gather near Oscar Pistorius' uncle's house in Waterkloof, a suburb of Pretoria, on January 5, 2024

Journalists gather near Oscar Pistorius’ uncle’s house in Waterkloof, a suburb of Pretoria, on January 5, 2024

June Steenkamp believes Pistorius is continuing to lie over the slaying of Reeva, but wants to step back out of the spotlight to mourn her daughter and husband Barry who died last September ‘from a broken heart.’

Reeva died after Pistorius shot her four times through the bathroom door of their home on Valentine’s Day 2013.

He insisted it was an accident as he thought an intruder had broken into the house.

Pistorius was released from Atteridgeville Corrections Centre 11 years after shooting Reeva dead.

He will remain under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and will be subject to parole conditions until his sentence expires in December 2029.

He will be assigned a monitoring official, who will have to be kept informed when Pistorius is seeking job opportunities or moving homes.

His uncle’s estate is fortified by armed guards, security technology and canine patrols, which should provide a high level of protection from the media attention – and potential attackers – that are likely to descend on the compound following his release. 

In a heartfelt statement, Mrs Steenkamp said today: ‘February 2013 (was) the day life changed forever. The day South Africa lost its hero, Oscar Pistorius, and the day Barry and I lost our precious daughter, Reeva, at Oscar’s hands.

‘Now, almost 11 years later, the pain is still raw and real, and my dear late husband Barry and I have never been able to come to terms with Reeva’s death, or the way she died.

‘Through the years Barry and I were encouraged by the love and messages of support from both friends and strangers.

‘I wish I could thank each one personally for carrying Barry and I through these difficult years. Part of Barry and my daily conversations were always flooded by the sorrow we felt for the parents and families of victims whose perpetrators were not brought to book.

‘Our thoughts remained with them as they were denied any form of closure and the names of their loved ones never recognised or honoured.

South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, on June 14, 2016

South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, on June 14, 2016

The home in the Waterkloof suburb of Pretoria, South Africa, where Oscar Pistorius will live

The home in the Waterkloof suburb of Pretoria, South Africa, where Oscar Pistorius will live

Pistorius's successful bid to run in the London 2012 Olympics (pictured) made him a huge star in America and a poster boy for Paralympians

Pistorius’s successful bid to run in the London 2012 Olympics (pictured) made him a huge star in America and a poster boy for Paralympians

‘It made us feel guilty to an extent, but at the same time the trauma of re-living and re-telling our story has been a huge cross for us to bear.

‘Whilst we remain grateful to the media, the intensity of the coverage of Oscar’s trial, imprisonment and parole has been a double-edged sword.

‘The media interest meant the loss of our privacy and made it difficult to mourn in peace. Sadly, reports were often accompanied by verbal and emotional abuse by some members of the public – not only towards us, but also towards our deceased daughter.

‘It is my sincere wish, and it was Barry’s too, that people will take a moment to consider the impact of their hurtful comments.

‘We did not choose this. We would much rather have our loving daughter alive, and laughing, with us.

We have always known that parole is part of the South African legal system, and we have always said that the law must take its course.

‘Oscar Pistorius’s release on parole, subject to certain conditions, has affirmed Barry and my belief in the South African justice system.

‘The conditions imposed by the parole board, which includes anger management courses and programs on gender-based violence, send out a clear message that gender based violence is taken seriously.’

June Steenkamp, mother of Reeva Steenkamp, arrives at Atteridgeville Correctional Centre to attend his parole hearing in Pretoria, South Africa March 31, 2023

British-born June Steenkamp (seen left in 2014 consoling her husband Barry) told Mail Online today how Pistorius, 37, not only took Reeva from her but how she also blames the runner for her husband's later death - and further believes he killed her dream of having grandchildren

British-born June Steenkamp (seen left in 2014 consoling her husband Barry) told Mail Online today how Pistorius, 37, not only took Reeva from her but how she also blames the runner for her husband’s later death – and further believes he killed her dream of having grandchildren

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius crosses the line to win gold in the men's 400m - T44 final during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on September 8, 2012

South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius crosses the line to win gold in the men’s 400m – T44 final during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on September 8, 2012

She added: ‘Has there been justice for Reeva? Has Oscar served enough time? There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back. We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.

‘With the release of Oscar Pistorius on parole, my only desire is that I will be allowed to live my last years in peace with my focus remaining on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation, to continue Reeva’s legacy.’

Pistorius, who was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knees before his first birthday, was once seen as the embodiment of human triumph over adversity.

The Johannesburg-born athlete gained global fame in the early 2000s, when he won Paralympic gold in the 200 metres at the Games in Athens.

Pistorius then set his sights on running against able-bodied athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but was barred from competing in the event by governing bodies.

The ban was eventually overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but Pistorius failed to qualify for the Olympics, coming within 0.70 seconds of the qualifying standard for the 400 metres in Beijing.

Undeterred, he swept that year’s Paralympics, taking home the 100, 200 and 400 metre gold medals, before launching a bid to qualify for 2012 Olympics in London.

This time he was successful, reaching the 400m semi-finals and competing for South Africa in the 4x400m relay. He also won another three Paralympic medals that year.

But his glittering career was ruined on February 14, 2013 in a Valentine’s Day horror when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the Tasha's All White Party on January 26, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the Tasha’s All White Party on January 26, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa

FILE PHOTO: Paralympics - London 2012 Paralympic Games - Olympic Stadium - 8/9/12 Athletics - Men's 400m - T44 Final - South Africa's Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning gold

FILE PHOTO: Paralympics – London 2012 Paralympic Games – Olympic Stadium – 8/9/12 Athletics – Men’s 400m – T44 Final – South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning gold

Reeva Steenkamp is pictured in 2012 one year before her murder

Reeva Steenkamp is pictured in 2012 one year before her murder

A gun enthusiast, Pistorius told the trial he had believed Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot her several times with ammunition designed to inflict maximum damage to the human body. 

He was initially jailed for five years in 2014 for culpable homicide by a high court. But the Supreme Court of Appeal in late 2015 found him guilty of the more serious charge of murder after an appeal by prosecutors.

He was jailed in 2016, initially for six years which was later increased to more than 13 after an appeal by prosecutors who argued the initial sentence was too lenient.

In 2022, Pistorius met Steenkamp’s father Barry during a process known as victim-offender dialogue – part of South Africa’s restorative justice programme that brings parties affected by a crime together in a bid to achieve closure.

Few details were made public about the meeting and Steenkamp’s father died in 2023.

Her mother June said in a statement before the parole hearing for Pistorius that she was not convinced he had been rehabilitated.

But she added that she had forgiven him ‘long ago as I knew most certainly that I would not be able to survive if I had to cling to my anger’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk