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Judge Masipa starts sentencing

Judge Thokozile Masipa on Tuesday said that the sentence she would hand down to Oscar Pistorius in the High Court in Pretoria was her's alone.

“Although I am sitting with two assessors on this matter, the decision is mine and mine alone,” she said.

“Sentencing is about achieving the right balance…”

She said that when finding an appropriate sentence, the nature and seriousness of the crime and the interest of society are among the things that had to be taken into account.

As she spoke Pistorius looked straight ahead.

Masipa read from various old cases and quoted on sentencing being a challenge.

“Finding an appropriate sentence is a challenge faced by criminal courts daily.”

She dealt with the evidence in mitigation and aggregation of sentencing and recalled the witnesses called by the defence and the State last week.

Masipa recalled how Pistroius met with psychologist Dr Lore Hartzenberg shortly after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Pistorius showed prominent symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and depression and many sessions could not continue because Pistorius was “too emotionally drained”.

On September 12, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on for the Valentine’s Day 2013, shooting of Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse. The court found him not guilty of murdering Steenkamp.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

Pistorius was found guilty of firing a pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013. He was found not guilty of shooting through the open sunroof of a car in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012, and of illegal possession of ammunition.


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