South African judge Thokozile Masipa has thrown out the State’s appeal against her “lenient” six-year-sentence given to convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius because she felt there was “no reasonable” chance it would be successful.
Pistorius, a six-time Paralympic gold medallist, was jailed last month for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by firing four shots through a locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
The world’s most famous disability athlete appeared in court again today so the judge could hear the appeal of the prosecution, who had campaigned for the South African to spend 15 years behind bars.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel described the six-year sentence given to Pistorius as “shockingly inappropriate” during the hearing today, insisting his jail term should have started with 15 years at a minimum.
Defence lawyer Barry Roux argued, however, that the State were merely trying to increase the uncertainty surrounding Pistorius and that this should mark the end of a judicial process he described as “exhausting beyond the point of exhaustion”.
“I am not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of success for an appeal,” Judge Masipa told the High Court in Johannesburg.
“The application for leave to appeal against the sentence is dismissed with costs.”
The development means Pistorius’ time in jail will not be extended and should represent the conclusion of the saga.
Twenty-nine-year-old Pistorius had originally been found guilty of culpable homicide - the equivalent of manslaughter - and was sentenced to five years in prison in October 2014.
He was released after serving less than a year of his sentence in October 2015, but prosecutors successfully upgraded his conviction to murder which led to the new six-year punishment.
They claimed he must have known that someone could be killed when he shot Miss Steenkamp four times through the toilet door.
Nel reiterated those accusations, claiming Pistorius has “never offered a reasonable explanation” for his actions.
Pistorius, however, has always claimed that he suspected an intruder and feared for his life.
The athlete was escorted directly to Khosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria following his second sentencing in July.
Tubby Reddy, the chief executive of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, even suggested that he could compete at Tokyo 2020 if he served his time.
Pistorius then reportedly received treatment in hospital for "wrist injuries" - with his brother denying that he intentionally harmed himself - last month.
A prison spokesman said the injuries sustained to the South African were "minor" and that the blade runner had returned to prison after the incident.
The athlete was taken to Pretoria’s Kalafong Hospital on August 7.