Six-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius will be sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on July 6, a judge has ruled in South Africa.
The 29-year-old could face a 15-year jail term for shooting dead Steenkamp through a toilet door at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013.
Pistorius was initially handed a five-year sentence after being found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter), but after serving almost one year behind bars, the double amputee’s conviction was upgraded to murder on appeal.
On day three of the sentencing hearing, Pistorius sobbed as he removed his prosthetic legs to demonstrate his limited movement as part of the defence’s argument.
The Paralympian’s lawyer Barry Roux told the court that “there is no purpose served” in sending his client back to prison, while prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that Pistorius should serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars because he has still not provided an “acceptable explanation” for his actions.
Judge Thokozile Masipa has told the court that the Paralympic sprinter will be sentenced in three weeks’ time, and also accepted the state’s request to publish photos of Steenkamp’s injuries.
The request to publish the graphic images was backed by Steekamp’s family.