Before he was found guilty of murder, Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of manslaughter.
On 12 September 2014, the Paralympian was convicted in a South African court of culpable homicide (manslaughter) for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
“There is no basis for this court to make the inference that the accused wanted to kill the deceased,” said judge Thokozile Masipa.
“The conduct of the accused shortly after the incident is inconsistent with someone who had wanted to commit murder.”
Judge Masipa continues: “It could not be said that he [Pistorius] foresaw that either the deceased or anyone else for that matter might be killed when he fired the shots at that door.”
In December 2015, South Africa’s supreme court of appeal overturned Masipa’s judgement, finding Pistorius guilty of murder.
Justice Eric Leach of the appeal court said Pistorius “ought to have been found guilty of murder” and there was “no doubt that in firing the fatal shots the accused must have foreseen that whoever was behind the toilet door might die”.
The Blade Runner, as he known because of his prosthetic legs, ran out of legal options when his request to the constitutional court – asking for the chance to challenge the murder conviction – was knocked back in early March 2016.
Pistorius is now facing the music again, this time in court to hear his murder sentence. It’s possible he’ll spend the next 15 or more years behind bars. The decision on sentencing is expected 6 July 2016.
The Guardian has reported that a clinical psychologist – called by Pistorius’ lawyer to speak to the court – says the ex-athlete needs to be in hospital, not back in prison.
“His spirit seems broken,” said the psychologist.
“I believe he is quite ill. If he was my patient, I would admit him to hospital.”
Barry Steenkamp, the father of Reeva, spoke in court today.
“It has been very difficult for me to forgive,” he said.
“You must still understand that he must pay for [his crimes] although June (Reeva’s mother) has forgiven,” said Mr Steenkamp.
The story has been a hit with local and international media since Pistorius, the first athlete to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic games, pulled the trigger on Valentine’s Day in February 2013.
And judging by these unearthed photos, captured on my iPhone in a sweaty hand on 12 September 2014 – the day Pistorius was cleared of murder and convicted of manslaughter – the media’s interest is well-justified.
Outside the courthouse on that day, the public’s gaze was as clear as the Spring sky.
Before the rush
Ladders and cameras
Public interest: murder or manslaughter?
Going to great heights
Prime position: waiting for the money shot
A bob each way
Local news basking in the story
‘Oscar is coming out soon’
Ready and waiting
More cameras than people
‘Oscar is guilty of murder’: the court of public opinion
Looking down the barrel: the storm before the storm
Well done Bill
Thanks Rob. It was quite the frenzy outside the court that day.
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