Hope of securing a reprieve and avoid a possible 15 years jail term over the shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, has dimmed for Oscar Pistorius as the Constitutional Court in South Africa has ruled that he cannot appeal his conviction for murder.
Pistorius has to proceed to the sentencing, his lawyer, Andrew Fawcett, confirmed after the rejection of his appeal. Fawcett and co-counsels for the 29 years old blade runner and six time Paralympics gold medallist lodged appeal in January after the initial verdict of manslaughter was reviewed to murder in December.
Currently on bail, Pistorius has always denied murder, claiming he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder but Judge Aubrey Ledwaba ruled that he must have foreseen that someone could be killed when he shot Miss Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
He was initially jailed for five years for culpable homicide by Judge Thokozile Masipa in October 2014 after lengthy legal proceedings and was released from prison after one year and placed on house arrest in October 2015 but Judge Ledwaba ruled that Masipa had made mistakes and the case will now return to him for sentencing on April 18.
Prosecutors are targeting at least 15-years behind bars, it is thought, although the sentence could include the time he has already served.
Pistorius was the first athlete to compete in the Olympics using blade and was about the most iconic Paralympians until Steenkamp’s death at his home in Pretoria.
He won the T44 100 metre, 200 and 400 metres titles at the Beijing 2008 Games, adding to the 200m gold medal he claimed at Athens 2004. At London 2012, he won the 400m title again, as well as 4x100m relay gold.