Oscar’s defendant

“It’s just a shame that the reputation of such an icon is being destroyed. And we don’t even know if he did anything.”

I was talking to a beautiful girl, Charlie, we could have talked about many things, but ended up with what turned out to be the wrong topic.

It’s the murder that rocked a continent. It’s also the biggest case of did he, or didn’t he we had in this decade: Oscar Pistorius.

I looked at Charlie, a sweet girl with a big smile and more golden necklaces around her neck than I could count. I imagined hundreds of things we could talk about, as we were sitting in one of these shabby little pubs that make you feel at home in a second.

But Oscar Pistorius was all over the papers and Charlie started talking about him. She said she found inspiration in Pistorius’ constant breaking of boundaries, and overcoming of the odds.

“I just don’t think the guy did it, he’s too much of an icon.”

I could see she was adamant; the fire in her eyes defended the statement without her having to utter another word.

“What couple hasn’t gone through troubles, I’ve seen pictures of him in court. You can’t fake that kind of emotion. Look, we all know he shot her, he’s admitted to that. But it’s obvious that it was an accident.”

I tried to steer the conversation away from the court case and asked Charlie about herself.

“I’m a runner myself, I did the London Marathon last year in five hours and I will try to do even better this year.”

Having run a marathon myself, I was impressed, but I couldn’t agree with her on Pistorius. It was a bit of a paradox. I wanted to believe Charlie, I wanted to believe Oscar. You couldn’t ignore the mounted evidence against the para-Olympian: the text messages, the forensic analyst finding holes in his statement, the damage made to the toilet door in the bathroom.

“You know what will happen don’t you, he’ll get tried by public opinion. Just like OJ, it’ll be a media frenzy and he’ll never escape it.” Charlie looked remorsefully at the bottom of her pint glass, beer now finished, much like Pistorius it seemed.

I looked at the bottom of my pint glass, also finished, much like the conversation.

Reporting by Michael Ertl