Oscar Pistorius: Paralympian found guilty of culpable homicide to be sentenced next week

The athlete could carry out any custodial sentence handed down in Pretoria Central Prison

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A month after being found guilty of culpable homicide for shooting his girlfriend dead, Oscar Pistorius will find out next week what his sentence will be.

The Paralympian, who was convicted on 12 September, will return to court where he will find out whether or not he will face jail time in South Africa’s notorious prison system.

When will he find out?

The double-amputee is to be sentenced by Judge Thokozile Masipa on 13 October for killing 23-year-old model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

How long could he be sentenced for?

Pistorius, 27, has always maintained that the shooting of his girlfriend was a tragic accident. He faces a fine and  possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison after his defence that he had shot a gun through his bathroom door because he thought his house in the South African capital Pretoria was being burgled. This is a more lenient sentence than the maximum 25 years he would have faced for murder.


Where could he be imprisoned?

The athlete could carry out any custodial sentence handed down in Pretoria Central Prison, which houses some of South Africa’s most dangerous criminals. Prisoners are believed to spend up to 23 hours a day in cells and some are said to be victims of violent gang attacks and rape.

What jail conditions is he facing?

If Pistorius is jailed, he would have to go to prison on the date specified by Judge Masipa, where he will have his clothes and belongings confiscated before being handed a standard orange prison uniform.

As there are few disabled South African prisoners, with many living on the prisons’ hospital wards, if handed a custodial sentence Pistorius is said to face an even tougher time behind bars because of his disability. The law says Pistorius would be allowed to keep his prosthetic legs, but he may be obliged to hand them to staff at night as they could be deemed a security risk.

Although Pistorius has been used to a strict exercise and diet regime, he would only be allowed one hour of exercise a day and eat very basic food rationed into small portions.