London - Bookie Paddy Power has provoked outrage by taking bets on the trial’s outcome and offering to refund punters if Oscar Pistorius is cleared.

Its advert, with a photograph of Pistorius mocked up as an Academy Award statuette, says: “It’s Oscar time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty.”

Critics said the “sick” advert treated the killing of a young woman as sport. More than 1 000 signed an online petition calling for the campaign to be axed.

But Paddy Power said it had no intention of withdrawing the advert. “It is being talked about in every pub,” a spokesman said.

“We are not offering it because it is a murder trial, we are offering odds because it is a huge global event.” - Daily Mail