London: Correctional authorities recommendation of a three-year house arrest for Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has left the prosecution livid.
The correctional authorities have also recommended that the double amputee does 16 hours a month of cleaning duties at a museum. A social worker at the Department of Correctional Services made the recommendations at Pistorius’ sentence hearing in Pretoria for the charge of culpable homicide.
Social worker Joel Maringa denied Prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s suggestions that such a sentence was shockingly inappropriate for Pistorius’ crime in killing an innocent woman inside a locked toilet cubicle, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Maringa said that correctional supervision or house arrest was as harsh as any other sentence and in that Pistorius would be subject to strict rules and would be required to attend programs about how to handle negative emotions and would only be allowed to go out with permission.
The social worker clashed with Prosectuor Nel, who questioned his knowledge of the facts of the sensational case.
The recommendation came after Pistorius’ defence team kicked off the sentence hearing with a bid to paint the fallen athlete, known as the Blade Runner, as a broken man, crippled with guilt and suffering a severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who still carries around pictures of his slain lover.
Pistorius’ personal therapist Dr Lore Hartzenberg said that she had overcome initial reservations and decided to testify for him about the 18 months she has counseled the athlete since he shot dead his lover.
But the State aggressively countered, subjecting her to forceful cross-examination, in their bid to have Pistorius given a hefty sentence, and to portray him as self-obsessed.
Nel outlined that Steenkamp’s family too was a broken family, with the deceased’s father having suffered a stroke as a result of his daughter’s death and her mother June collapsed in uncontrollable tears on the floor of her home.
And Prosecutor Nel also referred to a media report that Pistorius has since found new love, questioning why the doctor had never discussed this with him. He also pointed out that Dr. Hartzenberg had cried in court on the day that Pistorius was required to take off his prosthetic legs.
The Paralympian, who went on to compete in the London 2012 Olympics, was sensationally cleared of the premeditated murder of Ms Steenkamp and found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
A life sentence was therefore taken off the table and it is now possible that he could be spared a jail term completely and instead receive a suspended sentence or a type of house arrest, the report added.