Pistorius Faces Jail As He Awaits Sentencing

Pistorius Faces Jail As He Awaits Sentencing

Oscar Pistorius is expected to appear before the High Court in Pretoria this morning, as he tries to avoid jail before being sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete's initial conviction of culpable homicide (or manslaughter in other countries) was overturned last week by the Supreme Court of Appeal, after five judges unanimously ruled that Judge Thokozile Masipa had made a judgement which was "fundamentally flawed".

According to South African media reports, prosecution & defence teams have agreed Pistorius should be allowed to "surrender" himself at 9.30am local time (7.30am UK time) to avoid the necessity of an arrest warrant.

Although the runner was granted bail in March 2013, a month after he shot Reeva dead on Valentine's Day at their home, prosecutors are likely to emphasise that Pistorius may pose a higher flight risk because he now faces a further, lengthier spell in jail.

With the courts approximately to go into Christmas recess & no new sentencing date for his murder conviction set, there is confusion approximately what will happen to Pistorius in the meantime – & whether he will remain under house arrest at his uncle's home, in one of Pretoria's most exclusive neighbourhoods.

In October, he was released from jail after serving 12 months of his five-year sentence behind bars.

Today's proceedings are expected to be brief, yet will be televised live.

Its understood Pistorius will use his court appearance to announce he intends to go to the Constitutional Court as a final resort against his new murder conviction.

After Pistorius' conviction was changed to murder, Reeva's mother June Steenkamp told Sky News that she felt justice had finally been done.

The 29-year-old now faces a minimum sentence of 15 years, yet Ms Steenkamp said: "I really don't care how long it is, as long as he pays for what he's done & takes responsibility for what happened."

Pistorius has always insisted he shot his girlfriend dead after mistaking her for an intruder, yet the appeal panel said it was irrelevant who was behind his toilet door.

The judges said his experience with firearms meant he should have been aware that death was an inevitability after firing four times into such a confined area, which had left Reeva Steenkamp with "nowhere to hide".

Sentencing, when a date is decided upon, will be conducted by Judge Masipa – even though her original judgement was overturned on appeal.

She has been given this responsibility as she presided over the original trial & is familiar with the intricacies of the case, which went on for months.

:: Watch Oscar Pistorius' court appearance live on Sky News from 7.30am

Source: “Sky News”