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Oscar Pistorius 'potential victim of prison rape'

Probation officer Annette Vergeer tells the High Court in Pretoria that Oscar Pistorius could potentially be the victim of gang rape if he is sent to prison.

Probation officer Annette Vergeer believes that Oscar Pistorius should avoid a prison sentence because he could potentially be the victim of gang rape, a court has heard.

The 27-year-old double amputee has returned to the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa this week to be sentenced for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, who was cleared of murder, was found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter), which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years behind bars.

During today's proceedings, Ms Vergeer told the court that the defence's call for three years' home arrest would be appropriate because Pistorius would be vulnerable to gang rape and disease in jail.

Ms Vergeer also claimed that local prisons are poorly equipped for disabled people and spoke of the dangers of transmitting AIDS and the issues with overcrowding and poor sanitation.

Pistorius denied murder by claiming that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired four gunshots through a toilet door at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

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Oscar Pistorius appearing at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on February 22, 2013
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