Pistorius walks on stumps in final plea

Double-amputee fighting to avoid murder resentencing

Afp June 16, 2016
Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius walks in the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during his resentencing hearing. PHOTO: AFP

PRETORIA: A sobbing Oscar Pistorius walked hesitantly on his stumps around court yesterday in a dramatic demonstration of his disability ahead of his sentencing for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Wearing shorts, the double-amputee removed his prosthetic limbs at the request of his lawyer Barry Roux as he made a final plea for Pistorius, who faces 15 years in jail.

The Paralympic athlete held onto wooden benches for support as he hobbled in front of the judge, and appeared in distress as a cushion was provided for him to rest on.

Government prosecutor seeks at least 15-year prison for Pistorius

Roux and state lawyer Gerrie Nel set out their concluding arguments at the High Court in Pretoria, three years after Steenkamp’s death.

Pistorius, 29, shot his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

Oscar has to pay for what he did, says victim’s father

“It is three o’clock in the morning, it is dark, he is on his stumps,” Roux said, stressing his client’s vulnerability. “His balance is seriously compromised and... he would not be able to defend himself. He was anxious, he was frightened. His perception that he and the deceased were in danger was fortified by finding the open bathroom window. He believed the person in the toilet was an intruder and deceased was at the time in the bed.”

State lawyer Gerrie Nel started his arguments to push for a severe penalty. “He knew there was someone behind the door,” he said. “Using a lethal weapon, a loaded firearm, the accused fired not one but four shots to the toilet door. He failed to provide any acceptable version for his conduct.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2016.

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