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26th Aug 2016

Appeal to extend Oscar Pistorius’ ‘shockingly lenient’ sentence rejected by judge

Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp

Matt Tate

An attempt by prosecutors to appeal for a longer prison sentence for former Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been rejected by the judge.

The disgraced athlete was recently sentenced to six years behind bars for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who he shot four times through a locked toilet door in February 2013 after claiming he had mistakenly identified her as a burglar.

The state intended to argue for an extension of that sentence, which Prosecutor Gerrie Nel branded as ‘shockingly lenient and disturbingly inappropriate’ in court .

Nel argued that too much ‘maudlin sympathy’ had been afforded to Pistorius on the basis of his disability and anxiety disorder. The minimum term for convicted murderers under South African law is 15 years.

Oscar Pistorius Is Sentenced In The Trial Over The Murder Of Reeva Steenkamp

But Judge Thokozile Masipa, who heard the original trial in July and sentenced the sprinter, rejected the state’s claim that she had been too kind in her decision. She said:

“I am not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of successful appeal or that another court would find differently. The application for leave to appeal against sentence is dismissed with costs.”

Pistorius’s defence lawyer, Barry Roux, called the questioning of the court’s sentencing an ‘insult’ and said the case had to be closed after the judge’s ruling.

“Enough is enough. What does the state want?” he said. “This process has been exhausted beyond the point of exhaustion.”