‘must pay’ for killing relative tells judge

Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin has told Oscar Pistorius’ sentencing hearing that the athlete must “pay for what he’s done” and that she did not believe the sincerity of his courtroom apology to the family of the woman he killed.

Kim Martin, while giving testimony on the impact of Ms Steenkamp’s death on her family, said they are “not seeking revenge” for the fatal shooting, but that Pistorius needs “sufficient punishment”.

At the court in Pretoria, Judge Thokozile Masipa is listening to testimony before deciding the sentence the double-amputee Olympian must serve after convicting him of culpable homicide for shooting Ms Steenkamp at his home last year.

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Pistorius’s defence lawyers have argued for a sentence of three years of house arrest. Prosecutors say the former star athlete and Paralympic champion should be sent to jail.

Ms Martin told the court: “We just feel, to take somebody’s life, to shoot somebody behind the door who is unarmed, who is harmless, needs sufficient punishment.”

Pistorius was acquitted of murder for the killing, but was found guilty of negligent killing.

Judge Masipa has wide latitude when deciding on a sentence for culpable homicide, and could order a suspended sentence and a fine, house arrest, or 15 years in prison.

Psychologist and social workers have said Pistorius should not go to prison because of his ongoing emotional suffering.

But Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel has called suggestions of a house arrest sentence “shockingly inappropriate”.