A bookmaker has opened themselves up for criticism after controversially offering odds on Oscar Pistorius's murder trial.
Somewhat tastelessly placed in the 'Novelty Bets' section of the website, Paddy Power have come under fire on social media for their 'gone too far' offering.
Under the title 'Premeditated murder charge verdict', the bookmaker has offered odds on 'Guilty' and 'Not guilty' ahead of the start of the trial.
A further description reads: "Singles Only. Applies to the verdict of Oscar Pistorius' first trial for the charge of premeditated murder. Bets void should charge be changed from 'premeditated murder' before verdict. Bets void should mistrial be declared."
The reaction to the market was met with outrage and dismay by users on Twitter.
Paddy Power are offering odds on the Oscar Pistorius trial. That's just appalling.
— James Edwards (@MidjetJames) February 25, 2014
What is wrong with Paddy Power? Offering odds on whether Oscar Pistorius will be found guilty. — Karl Jones (@KarlJones_) February 25, 2014
— Sean (@shornKOOMINS) February 25, 2014
Absolutely disgusted at Paddy Power's market on Pistorius being convicted of murder! 7/4? Outrageous, I'd want at least 2/1. — Lloydie (@young_obnoxious) February 25, 2014
Paddy power let you bet on whether oscar pistorius will be found guilty or not..#wtf
— Connor (@Connorbrooke10) February 25, 2014
While it is legal for betting to take place on a trial in South Africa, the morality and taste of such a market surely has to be questioned.
Other markets offered by Paddy Power in the same category include 'Next Pope after Francis I', 'When will there be a referendum to widen grounds for abortion', 'Where is Yanukovych' and 'How will Julian Assange leave the Ecuadorian Embassy'.
Reaction to the Pistorius market came on the day that a judge in South Africa ruled that the murder trial could be televised when it begins next Monday.
Double-amputee Pistorius, 26 and known as "Blade Runner" for the prostheses he wears in competition, fired four shots at Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door at his Pretoria home in the early hours of the morning on Valentine's Day 2014.
Pistorius has admitted shooting Steenkamp several times through the bathroom door, but claims he was acting in self-defence after becoming convinced that an intruder had broken in to the house.
Pistorius has admitted to firing four shots at Steenkamp, 29, hitting her in the head, arm and hip. In pre-trial testimony, his lawyers told a magistrates' court the shooting had been a tragic mistake and the athlete was acting in self-defence against what he thought was an intruder.
Prosecutors accused him of premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp, a noted model and budding reality TV star. Pistorius has mostly kept out of the public eye since he secured bail.
Do you think it is disgraceful and tasteless for bookmakers to offer odds on a murder trial ? Is this a case of novelty betting gone too far or just an obvious extension of the market? Post your comments below...
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