Oscar Pistorius removes prosthetics at sentencing hearing

Oscar Pistorius removed his prosthetic legs and hobbled around the courtroom as part of his defence lawyer's final statement at the athlete's sentencing hearing.

Audible gasps came from the public gallery as Oscar Pistorius walked across the courtroom.

At the hearing, the defense has continued to argue that Pistorius killed Steenkamp by mistake, in a cloud of fear in the middle of the night while physically vulnerable.

She also wondered why Pistorius had granted a television interview rather than testify at the pre-sentencing hearings.

Social media commenters had differing views on whether the photos should be made public. In another episode, she said, Pistorius banged a notebook on a table.

While speaking of the emotional impact of his daughter's death he said had seen "only one photo" of Ms. Steenkamp's murdered body, the one that was produced in court when Mr. Steenkamp was present two years ago, but that he wanted "the world to see" the others, as a warning to anyone thinking of using firearms.

After being sentenced, another judge overturned the original ruling stating that there was a "fundamental error" and that Pistorius "never offered an acceptable explanation for" shooting Steenkamp through a door.

The Supreme Court of Appeals later found he was guilty of murdering Steenkamp and ordered a fresh sentence.

Steenkamp said he and wife June had relied financially on their daughter, and he had hurt himself to try to relieve the pain that his daughter went through: "I jabbed myself with needles".

Prosecutor Mr. Nel backed Mr. Steenkamp's wishes.

Masipa on Wednesday lifted a ban on the publication of graphic photographs of the gunshot wounds Pistorius inflicted on Steenkamp - which included a severe head injury - when he shot her multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in his home.

His lawyer, Barry Roux, addressed Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa of the North Gauteng High Court, saying: "I want the accused to stand there so that we can have an idea of who this person is".

A custodial sentence seems highly likely, according to experts, but factors such as Pistorius' mental fragility, disability, and good behaviour may lead to a reduced jail term. He stared at the floor and started weeping as Roux spoke about the killing.

Prosecutor, Gerry Nel argued that: "I think that 15 years imprisonment ought to be imposed as a minimum".

Ms. Steenkamp's cousin Kim Martin, who was the prosecution's last witness at the hearing, told the court yesterday that the victim had did not love Mr. Pistorius.

"We don't want every occasion to become a funeral", she said.

  • Jack Mann