, PRETORIA, SA, Oct 21 – South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday learns his sentence for shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year, bringing an end to a seven-month trial that gripped the nation.
Pistorius’s fate lies in the hands of Judge Thokozile Masipa, who will announce her decision after the prosecution called for 10 years in jail and the defence pleaded for house arrest and community service.
The judge last month acquitted the double amputee sprinter of the more serious charge of murder over Reeva Steenkamp’s death. But she found him guilty of culpable homicide, for which the punishment can range from a fine to jail time.
Pistorius claims he shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model, four times through a locked bathroom door at his upmarket Pretoria home after he mistakenly believed she was an intruder.
His lawyers, arguing that Pistorius would be more vulnerable than most in prison because of his disability, have called for three years of “correctional supervision”, the equivalent of house arrest for the 27-year-old.
They also suggested that Pistorius could carry out 16 hours of community service a month cleaning a Pretoria museum.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said such a sentence would be “shockingly inappropriate” and could cause South Africans to lose faith in their legal system.