Pistorius told he cannot appeal murder conviction

 

Oscar Pistorius has been told that he cannot appeal his murder conviction for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The six-time Paralympic gold medallist has had his request rejected by the constitutional court in South Africa and the sprinter is now facing a jail term of 15-years.

Andrew Fawcett, a lawyer defending the 29-year-old blade runner, confirmed the court’s decision and said: “We’ll proceed to the sentencing.”

Pistorius’ legal team lodged appeal papers in January after an original verdict of culpable homicide – the equivalent of manslaughter – was upgraded to murder in December.

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba ruled that he must have forseen that someone could be killed when he shot Miss Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

Pistorius is currently on bail and has always denied murder, claiming he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.

He was initially jailed for five years for culpable homicide by Judge Thokozile Masipa in October 2014 after lengthy legal proceedings.

In October of last year he was released from prison just one year into his term and placed under house arrest.

Ledwaba ruled that Masipa had made mistakes but the case will now return to the latter judge for sentencing on April 18.

Prosecutors are targeting at least 15-years behind bars, it is thought, although the sentence could include the time he has already served.

Pistorius was heralded as one of the most iconic Paralympians until Steenkamp’s death at his home in Pretoria.

He won the T44 100 metre, 200 and 400 metres titles at the Beijing 2008 Games, adding to the 200m gold medal he claimed at Athens 2004.

At London 2012, he won the 400m title again, as well as 4x100m relay gold.

Earlier, he had also been the first athlete to compete in the Olympics using blades. 

  • By Dan Palmer
  • Republished with permission insidethegames.biz
 

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