Oscar 'tried to influence his sentence'

By admin
17 October 2014

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius tried to influence his sentence by giving money to Reeva Steenkamp's parents, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

"The offer is nothing but an attempt to influence sentence," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said during closing arguments in sentencing proceedings. He said he was saddened when he heard about payments to the Steenkamp families and questioned why an offer was made between judgment and sentencing proceedings.

'If I heard that after this case was finalised Mr Pistorius donated money... it would be different'

"If I heard that after this case was finalised Mr Pistorius donated money... it would be different. But no."

When Nel began speaking Pistorius put on his glasses and kept his head down.

It emerged in court this week that Pistorius offered Barry and June Steenkamp R375,000 and made monthly payments of R6000 between March 2013 and September this year.

June Steenkamp had rejected the lump sum offered as "blood money", said Nel.

The family said they would pay back the R6000-a-month payments.

Nel said before Reeva Steenkamp's cousin Kim Martin testified this week, Barry Steenkamp had told her: "I wish I could do this [testify], but I can't. I will lose it."

Martin's testimony had painted a picture of a family that still could not cope with the loss of a daughter.

"They will never be able to cope."

Court adjourned for tea, during which time Pistorius's siblings Carl and Aimee comforted him as he sat slumped in the dock, his hand over his face.

On September 12 Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the culpable homicide of model and law graduate Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder. Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp.

Masipa found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when a shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol went off under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges -- illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.

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