Ricochet News

Oscar not suitable for jail - social worker

By Charl Bosch - Oct 14, 2014
Oscar not suitable for jail - social worker

Social worker and probation officer, Annette Vergeer, has told the North Gauteng High Court that sending Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to jail would be “excessive punishment” and that his sentence effectively began after shooting Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

Speaking on the second day of the athlete’s sentencing, Vergeer said that Pistorius does not “have the usual criminal elements” and that since the shooting, has been no hindrance to the community.

She added that Pistorius would find it difficult to adjust to prison life due the lack of facilities such as proper disabled-friendly facilities as well as the violence and sodomy which often takes place.

Vergeer went on to described Pistorius as a “broken person”, before adding that matters will “only get worse if he is incarcerated”.

“The accused is a first time offender and unlikely to commit the same deed again,” she said.

She has insisted that the athlete be placed under correctional supervision for three years, carry out community service and attend programs which are not available in jail.

Vergeer also cited overcrowding in jail as another reason, before stating that it would place a big financial burden on the state to keep him locked him.

Under cross examination by State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Vergeer said that Pistorius had “worked with he had and to compensate for many things”. Nel had earlier pointed out that Pistorius had coped well with his disability up till the shooting. Vergeer responded by stating that “if you took away his legs he would not be a normal person.”

The trail continues.