'Pistorius unlikely to commit another crime'

Probation officer Annette Vergeer says Oscar Pistorius is not a threat to society.

Oscar Pistorius arriving at the High Court in Pretoria head of his sentencing on 14 October 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - Probation officer Annette Vergeer has backed up the recommendation that convicted killer Oscar Pistorius be considered for correctional supervision, arguing he's a first time offender and is unlikely to commit another crime.

The Blade Runner was last month found guilty of culpable homicide for the 2013 Valentine's Day shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Yesterday, a correctional services social worker told the High Court in Pretoria that Pistorius had already been punished through the traumatic encounter and suggested he be sentenced to three years under correctional supervision.

Video: 'Pistorius a broken man'.

Vergeer has now told the court the Paralympian and Olympian athlete is not a threat to society and does not have a history of violent behaviour.

"The accused has on several occasions expressed his shock and disbelief at his actions and consequences thereof. He accepted responsibility for his crime."

She also emphasised that it's unlikely Pistorius will re-offend.

"He accepts that he was negligent and his negligence caused Steenkamp's death. It's highly unlikely that he will re-offend, this is an opinion and not a diagnosis."


The probation officer says being sentenced to direct imprisonment will be detrimental for the double amputee and may cause re-adjustment issues.

Vergeer says the object of sentencing is not to satisfy public opinion, but serve public interest.

She believes he will not re-offend and that he needs to be rehabilitated because he still has a future.

She says all prison will do is punish him in a manner that is not constructive, it would be excessive.

Vergeer's report has also revealed that Pistorius made payments to the Steenkamps and that they remain neutral on the matter.


Vergeer says the athlete offered to make monthly payments to Reeva Steenkamp's parents.

She says she was not able to consult with the Steenkamps in compiling her report for the court.

Vergeer says she attempted to make contact with Barry and June but was only able to speak with their advocate Dup de Bruyn.

The legal counsel told Vergeer that his clients were neutral towards Pistorius.

The probation officer revealed that the athlete had offered to make monthly payments to the Steenkamps and pay additional sums over to them.

It is unclear if an out-of-court civil case between Pistorius and the model's parents has yet been settled.

The Steenkamps have also ruled themselves out as witnesses for the state in aggravation of sentence, forcing prosecutors to rely on the model's friends instead.

Earlier the athlete's manager, Peet van Zyl, conceded Pistorius blames himself for losing contracts and not being invited to speak at events.

Van Zyl has blamed the media for negative reporting which he says has had a major impact on the athlete.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued the athlete can only blame himself for not speaking at events and van Zyl agreed, but said if the media had handled things differently and with respect, the situation for him would be different.

On Monday van Zyl read through a long list of charities that Pistorius was involved in.

But today Nel criticised this, saying it was not unique and was considered an excellent marketing tool for most sportsmen.

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Follow the court proceedings live on EWN's Oscar Pistorius trial blog.