Pictures: Pistorius, Steenkamp family arrive at court for Oscar sentencing

By admin
13 June 2016

Sentencing proceedings for former paralympian and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius are expected to start in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Carl Pistorius sat in the front row of the public gallery of court GD of the High Court in Pretoria, typing on a laptop, as he waited for his brother Oscar to arrive for sentencing on Monday morning.

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry, and a few of their friends and relatives sat in the front, on the far right, where they had sat during Pistorius’s trial. Pistorius's uncle Arnold and his wife Lois sat on the left side of the front row, which was already full by 09:00.

A puffy-eyed Oscar Pistorius takes his seat in court. PHOTO: Jacques Myburgh A puffy-eyed Oscar Pistorius takes his seat in court. PHOTO: Jacques Myburgh

Prosecutor Andrea Johnson walked into the courtroom through the side entrance. She spoke briefly to the Steenkamps and handed them accreditation tags.

Earlier, as June Steenkamp entered the courtroom, someone asked her how she was keeping. "Strong," she responded.

Before people were allowed into the court, the police’s dog unit brought in a Labrador to sniff for explosive devices.

Proceedings were expected to get underway at 09:45.

The process would be similar to a trial, and the defence and State would be able to call witnesses to argue in aggravation and mitigation of sentencing, and could then cross-examine them, lawyer William Booth said.

In the early hours of February 14, 2013, Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through the locked door of the toilet in his Silver Woods Country Estate home. He claimed he thought there was an intruder behind the door and that Reeva was still in bed.

In October 2014, Masipa sentenced him to five years behind bars after finding him guilty of culpable homicide. The National Prosecuting Authority approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to argue that he should have been found guilty of murder.

Pistorius was released on October 19 last year, to serve out the rest of his sentence under correctional supervision at his uncle Arnold’s house. He had spent nearly a year in Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria.

On December 3 last year, the SCA overturned his culpable homicide conviction, and replaced it with the more serious one of murder. It sent the matter back to the high court to determine an appropriate sentence.

The SCA found Masipa committed an error in law by incorrectly applying the principles of dolus eventualis when she found him guilty of culpable homicide.

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