Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison: Watch it as it happened

Watch again: Pistorius is sentenced to five years in jail

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The Independent Online

Oscar Pistorius was today given five years in jail for culpable homicide after sentencing for the shooting of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp reached its conclusion.

The former Paralympic athlete was also given three years in jail, wholly suspended for five years, for firearm charges.

Before announcing the sentence, Judge Masipa said that: "The present case is so serious that a suspended sentence would not be appropriate in my view."

"I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send a wrong message to the community."

She added: "On the other hand, a long sentence would not be appropriate either, as it would lack the element of mercy."

After asking Pistorius to stand, she read his out the sentence.

There was no visible reaction from Pistorius or the family of Steenkamp as Judge Masipa made her judgement.

Pistorius was then led down to a holding cell, where he will then be transferred to prison.

Video: Watch the sentencing again here

Video feed courtesy of enca.com/oscartrial

Concluding on the trial, Judge Masipa said: "It was not an easy matter but in general I was very pleased with the conduct of everyone involved."

There was no complaints from the both defence and prosecution teams with Judge Masipa's decision.

Chief state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel said: "I think the court has done what the court should do."

The head of Pistorius' defence team, Barry Roux, announced that Pistorius would hand in all of his guns and certificates to the state.

On February 14 2013, Pistorius shot 29-year-old Steenkamp three times through the bathroom door of the couple’s Johannesburg home.

Pistorius denied that he was guilty of murder, and told the court that he had shot Steenkamp in the belief that she was an intruder.

He was subsequently cleared of murder, with Judge concluding that he had acted “negligently” but in the “belief that there was an intruder”.

Instead he was found guilty of culpable homicide, a crime that can carry with it a sentence of 15 years; however, can also result in a suspended sentence and fine. Throughout sentencing, the prosecution team have pushed for an outcome that would see Pistorius spend at least ten years in jail.

Chief state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, said during his closing statement “The minimum term that society will be happy with will be 10 years imprisonment.”

Adding: “This is a serious matter. The negligence borders on intent. Ten years is the minimum

“”We shouldn't fail the parents. We shouldn't fail society. Society may lose its trust in the court.“

Pistorius’ defence team argued that the six-time gold medal winner should not go to prison, but instead suggested that Pistorius be sentenced to three years correctional supervision (house arrest), which would include 16 hours of community service a month.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux said Pistorius that the fact that Pistorius had shown remorse, he was a first time offender and the fact that his disability would make him ”vulnerable“ in South Africa's notoriously brutal jails, all make him the ideal candidate for this level of punishment.

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