Oscar Pistorius community service call angers prosecutor

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South African athlete Oscar Pistorius should not go to jail over the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, his sentencing hearing has been told.

A probation officer appearing for the defence said Pistorius should serve house arrest and community service.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel described the suggestion as “shockingly inappropriate”.

Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of Ms Steenkamp last month – but was cleared of murder.

The decision was criticised by the victim’s family.

Pistorius faces up to 15 years in jail, although Judge Thokozile Masipa may suspend the sentence or impose a fine.

She said the athlete had acted “negligently” when he shot his girlfriend through a toilet door, but had genuinely thought her to be an intruder.

At the sentencing hearing, Joel Maringa, a prison service officer summoned by the defence, said Pistorius should perform community service and receive three years of house arrest rather than imprisonment.

“The accused will benefit from correctional supervision,” Mr Maringa said, adding that this will give him an “opportunity to restructure and modify his behaviour”.

“We are basically not saying that he should be destroyed because he will still be coming back into the community,” he said.

Mr Nel described Mr Maringa’s suggestions as “shockingly inappropriate”, adding that they would amount to “no sentence”. He questioned whether Mr Maringa understood the gravity of Pistorius’s crime.

Ms Steenkamp’s father, Barry, held his head in his hands as Mr Maringa spoke, while her friends shook their heads in disbelief.

source: punch

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