S. African prosecuting authority to seek longer sentence for Pistorius

Ruben Hill
November 3, 2017

The Oscar Pistorius case has returned to court in South Africa, with prosecutors seeking a longer sentence after the double-amputee athlete was found guilty of murder for shooting his girlfriend.

The State is appealing the jail sentence imposed on Oscar Pistorius, arguing that the six years' imprisonment on the murder charge is "shockingly", "startlingly" and "disturbingly inappropriate".

It argued Judge Thokozile Masipa should have used the prescribed minimum 15-year sentence for murder as a starting point.

Pistorious is now serving his sentence in the Atteridgeville prison after he was moved from Kgosi Mampuru II. Steenkamp's lawyer, Tania Koen, said the family supported the prosecution's appeal.

Pistorius was originally convicted of culpable homicide‚ the equivalent of manslaughter‚ in 2014‚ but the appeal court in Bloemfontein upgraded his conviction to murder in 2015.

"We believe that the trial judge was too lenient in imposing a six year sentence", the spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said. The prosecution says there were no compelling reasons for Judge Masipa to give Pistorius a lighter sentence.

Andrea Johnson, for the State, was explaining to the court why it should hand down a heftier sentence than that imposed by Judge Thokozile Masipa in the high court in Pretoria past year.

Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013‚ when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

The "Blade Runner" claimed he thought Steenkamp was an intruder and that he was defending himself.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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