Oscar Pistorius’s chief defence lawyer said the paralympic athlete has “lost everything” since killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp but the prosecution said he deserved at least 10 years behind bars.
On the fifth day of the sentencing hearing, defence lawyer Barry Roux said Pistorius had “not earned a penny” since fatally shooting Miss Steenkamp, lost his sponsors, and he no longer had enough money to cover the legal costs, The Independent reported.
“He’s not only broke, but he’s broken. There is nothing left of this man,” Roux said, telling Judge Thokozile Masipa to take in account Pistorius’ state of mind when he shot Steenkamp into his sentence.
Steenkamp was killed when Pistorius shot her through the toilet door of his home, believing her to be an intruder. The athlete has been convicted of culpable homicide, for which the maximum sentence is 15 years.
The defence is seeking a three-year sentence of occasional house arrest, community service, and no jail time.
The prosecution, however, is calling for Pistorius to serve 10-year imprisonment, with Chief prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel describing the possibility of Pistorius being kept under house arrest as “shockingly disproportionate”.
In his closing statement, Nel said the bullets fired by the athlete had “ripped” through Steenkamp’s body, adding: “When I think about that, it must have been horrific.”
“The deceased died in a small cubicle behind a closed door. Three bullets ripped through her body,” he said, referring to where the model was shot in the head, arm and hip.
“The minimum term that society will be happy with will be 10 years imprisonment,” he said. “This is a serious matter. The negligence borders on intent. Ten years is the minimum.”
The sentence hearing, meanwhile, was adjourned until Tuesday.