South African Court Ends Pistorius’ Final Appeal Bid

FILE PHOTO Oscar Pistorius

 

South Africa’s highest court has rejected Oscar Pistorius’s request to appeal against his 13-year jail term, ending the long legal battle over his killing of his girlfriend in 2013. 

The former Paralympic athlete, 31, had asked the Constitutional Court to review the jail term, which was increased to 13 years in November.

But the court ruling released on Monday said that “the application for leave to appeal is dismissed” as it was not a constitutional matter.

The ruling was dated March 28.

Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the locked door of his bedroom toilet, later saying that he thought she was an intruder.

He was originally convicted of culpable homicide — the equivalent of manslaughter — in 2014, but his conviction was upgraded to murder on appeal.

Pistorius also tried to take the murder conviction to the Constitutional Court, but it also refused to hear the matter.

His legal team and state prosecutors have fought through the courts over the length of his sentence.

“This is the end of the road. There are no other legal options available,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP, welcoming the ruling.

Tania Koen, the Steenkamp’s family lawyer, said that Reeva’s parents had “always had faith in the justice system” and had no further comment to make.

“June and Barry have been focussing their time and energy in the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation which was established in her memory,” Koen said.

The year before he killed Steenkamp, Pistorius became the first double-amputee to race at the Olympics when he competed at the London 2012 games.

Previously a role model for disabled people worldwide, his trial generated international headlines.

In a television interview, he said he believed an intruder was in the house and “instant fear” drove him to grab his gun and walk on his stumps towards the bathroom before opening fire.

It is unclear when Pistorius, who is detained in prison outside the capital Pretoria, could be eligible for parole.

AFP

Pistorius Appeals Sentence To Constitutional Court

Oscar Pistorius

South African Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius has filed an application to the Constitutional Court seeking to overturn a higher prison sentence handed down by the appeals court last month, court documents showed on Tuesday.

Pistorius will appeal to the country’s highest court against the increased sentence of 13 years and five months, a murder term that the Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubled from an original six years, for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete was jailed in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering model and law graduate Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 by firing four shots through a locked bathroom door. The case attracted worldwide interest.

He had originally been found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail. That conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court in December 2015 and his sentence extended to six years by trial judge Thokozile Masipa in July last year.

Pistorius reached the semi-finals of the 400 metres at the London Olympics in 2012 and took two golds in the Paralympics.

Reuters

Pistorius Injured In Prison Fight

Court on Oscar Pistorius

Former Paralympic champion and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been injured in a prison brawl over the use of a public phone, a South African official said on Tuesday.

The double amputee  — who is serving a 13-year jail term for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp  — was left with a bruise after “an altercation with another inmate over the use of a public phone” on December 6, according to the Department of Correctional Services.

“Oscar Pistorius sustained a bruise following an alleged incident with another inmate over the use of a public phone in the special care unit where both offenders are detained at Attridgeville Correctional Centre,” spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said.

Pistorius was in November 2016 moved to the prison north of the capital Pretoria, which caters for inmates with physical disabilities.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubled his original sentence of six years after the state argued that it was unduly lenient.

Nxumalo said an official investigation has been launched into the incident.

Local media reported that fellow prisoners were angered by the Pistorius’s lengthy telephone conversation, leading to a fight.

Pistorius, 31, was originally convicted of culpable homicide over the 2013 killing — the equivalent of manslaughter — but the appeal court upgraded his conviction to murder.

AFP

South African Court Doubles Oscar Pistorius’s Prison Sentence

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 6, 2016 shows Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius. MARCO LONGARI / POOL / AFP

A South African appeals court increased paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to 13 years and five months on Friday.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein more than doubled his original sentence of six years after the state appealed that it was unduly lenient.

Prosecutors argued earlier this month that Oscar Pistorius failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend.

“One of the essential ingredients of a balanced sentence is that it must reflect the seriousness of the offence,” Andrea Johnson, of the National Prosecution Authority, told the court.

The Paralympic athlete shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.

AFP

Blade Runner, Liam Malone, Beats Pistorius’ Record

Blade runner, Liam Malone beats Pistorius' record
                                                           Photo: Getty

Blade runner, Liam Malone, has set a new record at the ongoing Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

The New Zealand national broke Oscar Pistorius’ 21.30 seconds best on Tuesday after winning gold in the men’s 200m T44 final in a time of 21.06 seconds.

“I wouldn’t be here without those blades in the first instance.

“I’m filled with gratitude to everyone who invested in me from the start,” he told Stuff news agency.

Malone’s coach, James Mortimer, admitted that he did not expect the new champion to break Pistorius’ record.

He said he always felt the 200m would be Malone’s best chance of winning a gold medal.

“After watching his heat I knew he was in pretty good form, especially with how relaxed he was.

“But watching it this morning, he just ran as well as he could and just executed everything as we planned and brought it home well,” he said.

The feat has earned Malone a second medal of the Paralympics while New Zealand got their third gold of the day.

The 22-year-old had won a silver medal in the 100m on Friday, losing out to Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock.

Court Rejects Prosecutor Request To Appeal Pistorius Sentence

Court on Oscar Pistorius A South African court has rejected a prosecutor’s request to appeal Oscar Pistorius’ six-year murder sentence.

The Judge, Thokozile Masipa said their petition had no reasonable prospects of success.

The court had sentenced the Paralympics gold medallist in July for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013, but the prosecution had said the decision was too lenient.

Pistorius’ defence had earlier argued the state was prejudiced and had dragged the case on for too long.

Pistorius did not attend Friday’s hearing.

His sentencing was sequel to his initial five-year conviction for manslaughter was changed to murder last December on appeal.

The state had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum of 15-year sentence for murder.

Pistorius Gets Six Years Jail Term For Girlfriend’s Murder

oscarParalympics gold medalist, Oscar Pistorius, has been sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The South African was taken to jail immediately.

The verdict comes after his initial five-year conviction for manslaughter was changed to murder last December on appeal.

The state had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum of 15-year sentence for murder.

In an hour-long session, Judge Thokozile Masipa said mitigating circumstances, such as rehabilitation and remorse, outweighed aggravating factors for deviating from the prescribed 15-year sentence for murder.

“Public opinion may be loud and persistent, but it can play no role in the decision of this court,” High Court judge Thokozile Masipa said in her ruling.

Pistorius, 29, shot Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door in February 2013.

He admitted shooting her, but said he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder and acted out of fear.

Pistorius Must Pay For Murdering My Daughter, Victim’s Father Tells Court

pistoriusOscar Pistorius must pay for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, father of the victim told a South African court on Tuesday.

A tearful and trembling Barry Steenkamp said that forgiving the blade runner for his crime was very hard.

The 29-year-old gold Paralympics medallist faces a minimum 15-year jail term after his manslaughter conviction for the 2013 killing, for which he originally received a five-year sentence, was upgraded on appeal.

Called to testify by the lead state prosecutor in Pistorius’s sentencing hearing, Mr Steenkamp said his daughter’s death had devastated her family.

“I ended up having a stroke and so many things since that happened… I just don’t wish that to anybody in this world,” he told the court.

“He has to pay for his crime,” Mr Steenkamp, 73, said of Pistorius.

“A Broken Man”

Mr Steenkamp said he and wife, June, had relied financially on their daughter, and he had “jabbed (himself)… with needles” to try to relive the pain that she went through.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court on Monday, the first day of the hearing, that Pistorius has shown no remorse for shooting and killing Steenkamp when he fired four shots through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home.

Nel disputed a claim by Jonathan Scholtz, a psychologist called by Pistorius’ lawyer that Pistorius was “a broken man” who should be hospitalised and not jailed, saying the track star had been violent while serving his sentence.

According to Reuters, the case has prompted a fierce debate in a country beset by high levels of violent crime against women. Some rights groups have said the white athlete has received preferential treatment.

Earlier on Tuesday Ebba Gudny Gudmundsdottir, from Iceland, described the athlete as an inspiration to her 11-year-old son, who has a similar disability to Pistorius.

The lower part of the athlete’s legs were amputated when he was a baby, and he is known as “Blade Runner” for the carbon-fibre prosthetics he wore when racing.

“Blade Runner” Pistorius Faces Sentencing For Murdering Girlfriend

PistoriusParalympics 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”.

Pistorius Appeals Murder Conviction

PistoriusSouth African athlete Oscar Pistorius is to seek an appeal against his conviction for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete’s defence lawyer has filed an application to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, urging a review of his murder conviction.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door.

He claimed he mistook her for a bugler and prosecutors argued he did not plan to kill her.

The Supreme Court upgraded the 29-year-old athlete’s sentence to murder from culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, for which he had received a five-year sentence.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, Pistorius now faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend.

Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals and was the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games.

Pistorius Released On Bail After Murder Conviction

Oscar PistoriusA South African court has granted bail to paralympian, Oscar Pistorius, after he was convicted of murder for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

The Judge told the court on Tuesday that Pistorius did not pose a flight risk.

“The case is postponed to the 18th of April 2016.

“Applicant is released on bail of 10,000 Rand,” the Judge said.

The Supreme Court last Thursday upgraded the 29-year-old athlete’s sentence to murder from culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, for which he had received a five-year sentence.

Known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, Pistorius now faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Reuters reported.

The athlete’s lawyer said he would ask for leave to appeal against the murder conviction.

Steenkamp died on February 14, 2013 when Pistorius fired four shots through the toilet door.

He claimed he mistook her for a bugler and prosecutors have argued he did not plan to kill her.

Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty Of Murder

Oscar PistoriusA South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict on Oscar Pistorius with the paralympic star now found guilty of murder.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Pistorious killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting four times through a locked toilet door.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail. He will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but judges can apply some discretion.

In October 2014, a South African court had sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in jail.

The paralympic runner was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, issuing the ruling in court in Pretoria, also gave Pistorius a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge.

The prosecution had called for a minimum 10-year sentence, while the defence called for community service and house arrest.

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide but cleared of murder.