Sports

State appeals Oscar Pistorius jail sentence

State appeals Oscar Pistorius jail sentence

South African prosecutors are appealing for a longer sentence for Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutors are asking South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal to give them permission to challenge Pistorius's six-year term, calling it "shockingly" lenient.

The court did not set a date for when it would rule on whether the appeal can be heard or not.

Pistorius claimed he mistook Ms Steenkamp for a risky intruder hiding in his bathroom in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013 when, without his prosthetic legs on and standing on his stumps, he shot four times through the cubicle door.

He had initially been found guilty of culpable homicide and received a five-year prison sentence but on appeal by the State was found guilty of murder.

NOTE: This is expected to start at 10am.

Johnson said the High Court did not list the substantial and compelling factors for deviating from the 15-year sentence and that Pistorius had not shown remorse for the murder.

The appeal from prosecutors led to the new six-year punishment.

Legal analysts say, however, it is more hard to get the court to change a sentence.

"We don't have substantial and compelling circumstances to justify a lesser sentence", chief porsecutor Andrea Johnson told the courtroom.

Pistorius' fate remains uncertain almost five years after the once-admired Olympic runner first appeared in court for shooting Ms Steenkamp multiple times through a closed toilet door at his home.

Asked by several judges why Pistorius fired four shots as opposed to one and never offered an explanation why, Roux argued that Pistorius's disability, his anxiety disorder, and him being over-conscious of crime should be taken into context.

The six-time Paralympic champion was not present at today's appeal hearing in front of the five-judge-panel.

Judge Masipa's initial sentence was appropriate in the circumstances, Pistorius's defence lawyers said, and his disability was not exaggerated.