Saturday 24 March 2018

Pistorius 'mentally prepared for likely outcome'

Aislinn Laing

A Pistorius family source last night said that their phones were ringing non-stop and Pistorius was surrounded by his aunt, uncle, siblings and family as the revised verdict was delivered.

"It was a harsh judgment, harsher than we thought but in terms of the content, we felt it would go this way after hearing what was said at the appeal," the source said.

They added that Pistorius had been preparing mentally for the likely outcome. "You have to prepare for it."

The former athlete's family and his legal team, including barrister Barry Roux and solicitor Brian Webber, are now poring over the judgment and considering their options. It is understood that they have 10 days to lodge an appeal.

Last night, a source at Pretoria's High Court close to Judge Masipa said she had grappled for a long time with the point the Court of Appeal ruled she erred on.

"It was difficult for her to decide whether it was murder or homicide," the source said.

"She really struggled with that and took a long time to make her decision."

The source added that even though Pistorius is now a convicted murderer, he could still be out of prison in just three years.

"The maximum is 15 years for unintentional murder, as he has been convicted, he can even get 10 years and eventually only serve 30pc, so three years."

The source added that most staff at Pretoria High Court, which was almost entirely taken over by the Pistorius trial, with journalists, court staff, security officials and members of family from both sides filling the corridors, felt the Court of Appeal's decision was the right one.

"I'm personally relieved, I think justice has now been done," the source said. "Most people say that he deserved murder. Perhaps it's even a relief for him too - he's not living a lie any more."

In an unusually terse response to the devastating news from the Court of Appeal yesterday, the Pistorius family said they had "taken note" but would not comment further.

Irish Independent

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