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Prison would break Oscar Pistorius court told during sentencing

October 14, 2014
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A probation officer has told the court in the Oscar Pistorius case that prison would break him. Annette Vergeer was speaking on the second day of hearings to determine his sentence for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. 

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A probation officer recommended three years house arrest for Oscar Pistorius

Appearing as a defence witness, she said the system did not have the facilities to cope with the Paralympian's disability and that his rehabilitation had a far better chance of success outside jail. Her report recommended three years of  "correctional supervision", that is house arrest.The officer said: "It would break him as a person and take away his future, and place a broken person back into society".Ms Vergeer also argued that the athlete had showed remorse for the killing, which was ruled culpable homicide after the judge accepted Oscar's explanation that he fired believing Reeva to be a burglar.

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Oscar Pistorius' ex Samantha Taylor who gave evidence against him was in court again

She added that he has been paying a voluntary sum to her parents June and Barry Steenkamp. During her evidence they shook their head. The Steenkamps are expected to present their own victim impact statement to the court. Their section of the court was packed with their supporters including Samantha Taylor, an ex-girlfriend of Oscar's who previously gave evidence against him and Jared Mortimer – a man with whom he had nightclub scuffle in July.Judge Thokozile Masipa also heard from Oscar's manager Peet Van Zyl , who described the champion sprinter's charity work. He said his client had supported other young people with prosthetics and encouraged US servicemen to rebuild their lives.

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The defence argues that Oscar will be vulnerable to attack in prison because of disability

In cross examination the prosecution attempted to show that the charity work was done out of self-interest to further the athlete's public image.

There is no minimum sentence for culpable homicide, meaning that Oscar could receive a suspended sentence or be set free. However, it's thought more likely that the judge will hand down a 5 to 10 year sentence.

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