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Oscar Pistorius denied right to appeal against Reeva Steenkamp murder conviction

Oscar Pistorius has been denied the right to appeal against his murder conviction over the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The ruling by South Africa's Constitutional Court clears the way for a judge to sentence Pistorius for murder at a hearing scheduled for April 18.

Defence lawyer Andrew Fawcett confirmed the court's decision and said: "We'll proceed to the sentencing."

Pistorius, who killed Ms Steenkamp in his home in 2013, had appealed to the highest court, saying another court was mistaken when it overturned a manslaughter conviction and declared the Olympic athlete guilty of murder.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, though a judge can reduce that sentence in exceptional circumstances.

Pistorius is currently under house arrest.

Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home early on Valentine's Day 2013.

Prosecutors said he killed her after an argument, while Pistorius argued he killed her by mistake, thinking there was an intruder in the house.

Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion, became the first amputee to run at the Olympics and the able-bodied World Championships.


From Belfast Telegraph