Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius Instructed to Remove His Prosthetic Legs During Sentencing Hearing
Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius was instructed to take off his prosthetic legs in court during a sentencing hearing Wednesday.
He wore a t-shirt and gym shorts and appeared nervous and unsteady as he walked from one side of the South African courtroom to the other. At one point, a woman came to keep him from falling.
A lawyer for the disgraced track star wanted to vividly show the court how vulnerable the man once dubbed "Blade Runner" must have felt walking on his stumps the night he killed his girlfriend, 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.
Pistorius, 29, has claimed that he thought he was shooting at an intruder.
Before removing his artificial legs in court, Pistorius sat crying, clearly upset about what was about to happen during the third day of his sentencing hearing.
His lawyer, Barry Roux, addressed Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa of the North Gauteng High Court, saying: “I want the accused to stand there so that we can have an idea of who this person is.
"It is 3 a.m. in the morning. It is dark. He suffers from anxiety disorder. We understand his balance was severely compromised. This must all be seen in the context of his disability. It does not mean that because he is vulnerable he must do whatever he likes.
"Let us understand when you combine these factors. It is not a man who is running with two healthy legs who wants to protect his girlfriend."
Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter and served one year in prison. That ruling was overturned in favor of a tougher murder conviction for which he faces 15 years when he's re-sentenced July 6.