'No compelling factors to justify lesser sentence for #OscarPistorius'
Bloemfontein - There were no compelling factors to rationalise its decision to impose a six-year sentence on Oscar Pistorius for murder as opposed to the 15-year minimum sentence, State prosecutor Andrea Johnson argued before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Friday.
"There are no substantial and compelling circumstances which justify the imposition of a lesser sentence...," Johnson said.
Johnson said that while trial Judge Thokozile Masipa said these compelling circumstances did exist, she did not list them.
"There were no reasons," Johnson said.
Johnson said Judge Masipa had misdirected herself when she meted out " this shockingly lenient sentence".
"The sentence was so shockingly lenient that it could not be accepted... It was a brutal murder of an innocent woman who had nowhere to hide, it was a senseless killing," Johnson said.
But Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Ronnie Bosielo, who is heading the five judge bench, on several occasions questioned exactly where Judge Masipa had erred.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is petitioning the court for leave to appeal the sentence after Judge Masipa denied it leave to appeal the sentence, stating that there was no prospect for another court reaching a different conclusion.
Pistorius shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine's Day in 2013.
He claimed he shot through the bathroom door because he thought she was an intruder.
Pistorius's initial culpable homicide conviction was changed to murder by the SCA following the State's appeal. The court found even if he thought there was an intruder in the house he should have foreseen his actions could lead to the death of whoever was behind the bathroom door.
Masipa subsequently sentenced him to six years in prison for the murder conviction.
African News Agency and Pretoria News