Court denies Oscar Pistorius leave to appeal

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been denied leave to appeal against his conviction for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Constitutional Court has made the ruling, meaning Pistorius will now be sentenced in April.

Pistorius killed Ms Steenkamp in February 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door.

A manslaughter verdict was overturned in December and a murder verdict introduced in its place.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the Constitutional Court found no prospect of success in Pistorius’ appeal.

The case will now go back to Judge Thokozile Masipa who cleared the athlete of murder in the original case – for sentencing on April 18.

Prosecutors are believed to be targeting a sentence of at least 15 years in jail for Pistorius.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail.

In December, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court under Judge Masipa had not applied correctly the rule of dolus eventualis whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Justice Eric Leach said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training.

Pistorius has always maintained he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

BBC