Oscar to be sentenced

2016-07-06 06:00

JOHANNESBURG. – Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius could return to jail today (06/07) when he is to be sentenced for having murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago.

Pistorius was freed from prison in Pretoria last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide.

But the Supreme Court of Appeal had changed the verdict to murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Due to his time already spent in jail and mitigating factors such as his disability, he may be given a lesser term.

“I don’t think he will get the full 15 years,” Ulrich Roux, a lawyer who is not affiliated to the case but has followed it closely, told AFP.

“His personal circumstances and the disability will be taken into account. One possibility is that part of the sentence may be suspended.”

Pistorius (29) shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who heard the original trial, will deliver the sentence three weeks after a court hearing that marked another episode of high drama in the long-running case.

Pistorius, sobbing heavily, hobbled on his stumps across the courtroom to demonstrate his physical vulnerability as his lawyers argued he should not return to jail on account of his anxiety disorder and depression.

At the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that the double-amputee sprinter should be given a lengthy jail term as he failed to show any remorse for the murder.

Nel also criticised Pistorius for taking part in a television interview, despite claiming to be too distraught to give evidence in court.

In the interview Pistorius said that he believed Steenkamp would want him to devote his life to charity rather than return to prison.

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