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Killer Oscar Pistorius removes legs for leniency plea

By AP Reporter

Oscar Pistorius took off his prosthetic legs in a South African courtroom as his defence team argued the double-amputee athlete deserved leniency when he is sentenced for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"Pity will play no role in the sentence," chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel countered, asking Judge Thokozile Masipa to send the former track star to prison for 15 years, the minimum sentence for murder in South Africa.

Judge Masipa said she would announce Pistorius's sentence on July 6, at the end of three days of evidence and arguments in the defendant's sentencing hearing.

Pistorius is under house arrest after a court overturned an initial manslaughter conviction against him and changed that to murder. He served a year's jail for manslaughter.

Judge Masipa, who initially acquitted Pistorius of murder at his original trial in 2014, must now resentence him.

Judge Masipa yesterday lifted a ban on the publication of graphic photographs of the gunshot wounds Pistorius inflicted on Ms Steenkamp when he shot her multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in his home in February 2013.

But the most dramatic moment of the hearing was Pistorius walking unsteadily without his prosthetic legs. Defence lawyer Barry Roux asked Pistorius to remove his prostheses, and the Olympian then hobbled across the courtroom.

Belfast Telegraph

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