Olympian Pistorius faces prison sentence hearing in victory for domestic violence victims

Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius is in a South African court in Pretoria Monday to receive his prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Known as the “blade runner” because of his prosthetic legs, he faces up to 15 years in the big house after his original conviction was upgraded from culpable homicide to murder following a recent appeal by prosecutors.

Psychologist Jonathan Scholtz told the court that, "I don't think Pistorius is able to appear as a witness, his condition is severe."

He added that he would check him into a hospital if the sprint runner was his private patient and wardens check in on him at night like “an animal in a cage.”

Scholtz's testimony also claims Pistorius got an infection in his legs when forced to shower on the concrete floor after the prison refused him a platform.

Pistorius has reportedly given away all of his guns and says he has no desire to touch the deadly weapons again.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who made the wrong legal call in sentencing Pistorius in 2014 according to the Supreme Court of Appeal, is overseeing the proceedings with sentencing expected on Friday.

The 29-year-old athlete will have no right to appeal.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a door in his home, claiming he mistook her for an intruder.

He told the court that his Christian faith had helped him deal with the death of Steenkamp.

“It’s definitely the thing that has got me through this past year. My God’s my God of refuge,” he told the court.

The athlete who claimed Steenkamp was a “blessing” has a verse from Corinthians tattooed on his back.

The verdict and sentence was met with outrage from campaigners against domestic violence and rape in South Africa.

He was released from jail after serving one year of his five-year sentence. He was permitted to carry out the rest of his jail term under house arrest.

READ MORE: Blade runner killing and the media blackout

The conviction was later upgraded to murder after an appeal heard by the Supreme Court.

It ruled the identity of whomever Pistorius shot through the bathroom door was irrelevant, as he should have foreseen his actions would lead to the death of that person.

Murder carries a minimum 15-year prison sentence in South Africa.

Pistorius’ defense team is expected to argue that the judge has some discretion with the sentence due to time already served and his condition.

Both the Pistorius and Steenkamp families are attending the sentencing.

The model was 29 years old when she was shot dead by Pistorius, a man with a history of domestic violence allegations and a known gun enthusiast.

He was arrested in 2009 and spent a night in jail after allegedly assaulting a 19-year-old girl in his home, bruising her when he slammed a door on her. A month later, prosecutors dropped the charges.

Former girlfriend Samantha Taylor detailed how she once hid his gun after she feared he would kill her. She alleges she experienced both physical and mental harm from the athlete.

Witnesses at the trial in 2014 say they heard “bloodcurdling screams” coming from a woman in Pistorius' home, followed by shots on the night of her murder.

The Paralympian and groundbreaking Olympian lost his legs beneath his knees when he was a child. He competed in track events with prosthetic blades, becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics in 2012.

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