Oscar's actions were not reasonable: Nel

By Kirstin Buick
17 October 2014

If Oscar Pistorius had acted like a reasonable person, Reeva Steenkamp would still be alive, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

If he had asked Steenkamp when he heard a noise from his bathroom, "did you hear something?", or if he had established whether she had heard him before went to the bathroom, gun in hand, she would still be alive, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said. He was presenting closing arguments during sentencing proceedings for Pistorius, found guilty last month of Steenkamp's culpable homicide. "If he wasn't negligent, or over-hasty, she would still be alive," Nel said.

'If he wasn't negligent, or over-hasty, she would still be alive'

The only sounds audible in the court, apart from Nel's voice, were the hum of the air conditioner and the clicking of keyboards as journalists took notes on their laptops.

Pistorius sat in the dock and appeared to be looking at something in his lap.

Nel referred to a section in the court record where he had asked Pistorius whether he had thought of firing a warning shot into the shower cubicle, next to the toilet.

Pistorius had replied no, fearing a bullet could ricochet and hit him.

Nel said in that case Pistorius should have foreseen the same thing happening in the small toilet cubicle.

"We're dealing with an accused, gun in hand, firing four shots into a toilet cubicle. We're not dealing with a soccer referee, attacked by a mob, firing blindly," Nel said, referring to case law.

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 he discharged a shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol 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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