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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019

Prosecutor says Pistorius should spend at least 10 years behind bars

He will be sentenced on Tuesday.

South Africa Pistorius Trial Source: AP/Press Association Images

THE JUDGE IN the trial of Oscar Pistorius today announced he will be sentenced on Tuesday, with the prosecutor calling for at least 10 years in prison.

After hearing closing arguments from both sides, Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned the hearing until Tuesday at 9.30 am (8.30 am Irish time).

Pistorius, the world-famous Paralympian, was last month convicted of culpable homicide for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

He was also convicted of a firearms charge for carelessly firing his gun in a restaurant in January of that year.

He faces up to 15 years in jail for culpable homicide, and this morning state prosecutor Gerrie Nel launched a scathing, last-minute criticism of Pistorius, and called for a minimum 10-year prison sentence.

“The minimum term that society will be happy with is 10 years in prison,” Nel said.

The deceased died in a small cubicle behind a closed door. Three bullets ripped through her body.This is a serious matter. The negligence borders on intent.

Oscar Pistorius Source: AP

Nel also dismissed defence lawyer Barry Roux’s claim that his client shot into the bathroom occupied by Steenkamp because he was feeling “extremely vulnerable and anxious.”

In the prosecutor’s view, Pistorius had been “shameless” in using his disability as “an excuse.”

The defence, meanwhile, has pleaded with Judge Masipa for a non-custodial sentence.

Culpable homicide is comparable to manslaughter and Masipa has a wide range of options on Pistorius’ sentence.

She could issue a suspended jail sentence and a fine, order the 27-year-old to go under house arrest, or send him to prison for up to 15 years.

On Monday, the court heard testimony from a social worker who said a sentence of “correctional supervison” under house arrest would be more appropriate than jail, in this case.

Pistorius’s consellor, Lore Hartzenberg said he was a “broken man” whose remorse and pain at killing Steenkamp were genuine.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Community service suggested for ‘broken man’ Oscar Pistorius>

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Dan MacGuill

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