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CityPress - - News -

THE STEENKAMPS ARE DEV­AS­TATED

Al­though it won’t bring his daugh­ter back, Barry Steenkamp told the court Pis­to­rius had to pay for the crime he had com­mit­ted. In har­row­ing tes­ti­mony, Steenkamp de­scribed how at times he has stabbed him­self with his di­a­betes nee­dle to try to feel some of the pain that his daugh­ter felt.

The court will take the par­ents’ an­guish as well as their eco­nom­i­cal loss into ac­count when mak­ing its de­ci­sion.

Louw said the fac­tor that needed to be brought in was the opin­ion of the vic­tim. “And in this case, the vic­tims are the Steenkamps.” THE LAW SETS THE BAR AT 15 YEARS

The law is very clear that the min­i­mum sen­tence for the crime of mur­der is 15 years in jail. Judge Masipa can grant a lesser sen­tence if she feels there are “com­pelling cir­cum­stances”.

Nel pointed out to the court that “cor­rec­tional su­per­vi­sion is not even close to the bench­mark”.

Louw said: “Barry Steenkamp said he doesn’t want the max­i­mum sen­tence – I think that’s go­ing to carry weight with the judge. She will prob­a­bly look for a mid­point, for ex­am­ple, eight years in pri­son.”

54heRoux said Pis­to­rius has paid from the minute shot Steenkamp, and will pay for the rest of his life. “He has paid with his fu­ture, emo­tion­ally, with not be­ing able to live with his cho­sen loved one, and fi­nan­cially ... He is a bro­ken man.”

Louw said the court will likely take this into ac­count, but since Masipa will be look­ing to cre­ate a bal­anc­ing act be­tween what all the par­ties want, it’s un­likely to be a good enough rea­son to give him an en­tirely sus­pended sen­tence. THERE WAS NO EVIL IN­TENT

A phrase that Roux kept go­ing back to was “moral blame­wor­thi­ness”. He re­peat­edly re­ferred to the case of for­mer rugby player Rudi “Vleis” Vis­agie, who ac­ci­den­tally shot and killed his daugh­ter in 2004, be­liev­ing her to be a car thief. Roux pointed out that the charges against Vis­agie were dropped.

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