Dutch drug kingpin gets life in prison
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, 14 October 2014, on his second day of sentencing where he is facing charges of culpable homicide for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013. EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND
“Let people understand that the initial understanding of a cold-blooded murder was not correct,” Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius said.
“We have a vulnerable person that used excessive force… He never ever entertained the thought that the deceased was in the toilet… he thought she was in the bedroom.”
Roux was delivering closing arguments and read from his heads of argument in the sentencing procedures of Pistorius.
He said when people saw the athlete they did not realise the impact the disability had on him and the difficulties he faced.
“There is pain and treatment needed,” he said.
He said what he understood from evidence given by acting national commissioner of correctional services Zach Modise on Thursday, was that if Pistorius had to go to jail he would be sent to the hospital section.
“Put him in hospital section, putting him with people who are suffering from ailments… what must he do there, should he not come out,” said Roux.
“It can never be a suitable punishment by locking a person up in hospital. Is there really a dominating factor to lock him up?”
He said that if the bar for negligence was lifted, then it would need to be balanced with vulnerability, anxiety and his disability.
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 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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