Oscar Pistorius. File photo: Marco Longari

 

Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius is a broken man who killed a person he loved. He lost everything - the one had loved, his freedom, his career as a professional athlete and both his dignity and his reputation.

This is according to his legal team, who in papers filed before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, said he received a reasonable sentence.

It is said that it is an insult to allege that Judge Thokozile Masipa misdirected herself by over emphasising his personal circumstances and that she under emphasised the murder on his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

His team is opposing a petition to the SCA by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, for leave to appeal against what Nel termed “a shockingly lenient sentence”.

Pistorius was earlier this year resentenced to a six year jail term on a charge of murder, following the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day, 2013.

Nel applied for leave to appeal against the sentence, stating that another court would come to a different finding than that of Judge Masipa. She, however, turned down the application, stating that the State had no prospects of success on appeal.

But Nel did not give up and last month petitioned the SCA directly for leave to appeal before that court. He wanted the appeal court to overturn the six year sentence and to replace it with a sentence it feels is more suitable.

The defence late on Wednesday filed it papers to oppose the petition, and said there is no basis to refer to the sentence as shockingly lenient and inappropriate. According to the defence the State ignored the previous sentence Pistorius had served.

The defence said it must be borne in mind that he was under the mistaken believe that he was firing at an intruder when he killed Steenkamp. He is, however, now branded as a man who committed gender violence, it was said.

Pistorius is back in the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria, after he previously served about a year of a five year sentence for culpable homicide.

The State earlier successfully appealed the culpable homicide conviction and the matter was referred back to Judge Masipa to sentence him afresh on murder.

The defence said if one took the previous sentence, together with the six years he was now meted out, Pistorius did receive a stiff sentence.

The SCA will now have to consider the new submissions before it ruled on whether the State should receive leave to appeal. If decided in the State's favour, the SCA will in all probability only next year hear the appeal.

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