Paralympics gold medalist, Oscar Pistorius , who murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, appeared in court on Monday in Pretoria, South Africa.
Pistorius , known as “Blade Runner” for the carbon-fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence and cannot appeal after the country’s top court ruled in March that he had exhausted all his legal options.
The 29-year old, whose lower legs were amputated when he was a baby, initially received a five-year sentence for culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter.
The conviction was later changed to murder after an appeal heard by the Supreme Court. Pistorius, who appeared distraught will know his fate at the end of the week.
A Psychologist called by the gold medalist, Professor Jonathan Scholtz, certified that presently Pistorius was in no position to testify.
Scholtz told the court Pistorius had suffered financially and found asking others for assistance humiliating.
He explained Pistorius’ lost millions of dollars in endorsements and sponsorships after reaching the pinnacle of his fame in London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, reaching the 400-metres semi-finals.
The blade runner had enrolled in a correspondence course for a degree at the London School of Economics and had been offered a job with a charity working with children in Africa, Scholtz added.
Outside the court, a group of people held up placards backing the athlete, one of them with the message: “Worldwide supporters of Oscar Pistorius”.