Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years in prison for Reeva Steenkamp murder

Pistorius will return to prison today for the killing of Ms Steenkamp 

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Paralympic gold athlete appeared in Pretoria high court today to be handed his sentence after his conviction for culpable homicide was upgraded to murder.

Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, four times through a locked bathroom door on Valentines Day in 2013.

Lawyers for Pistorius said they will not launch an appeal. Under South African law, he could be released under correctional supervision after serving one sixth of his sentence, meaning he could be out of prison in one year.

The 29-year-old was sentenced by Judge Thokozile Masipa, who said “substantial and compelling” reasons existed to deliver a sentence lower than the prescribed 15-year minimum.

Describing Pistorius as a "fallen hero", Judge Masipa said courts must consider aggravating factors as well as mitigating factors in sentencing. In the present case, she said there are a number of aggravating factors, but that they are outweighed by mitigating factors such as his remorse and rehabilitation.

One “substantial and compelling” reason put forward for a shorter sentence by Judge Masipa was the "misperception" an argument took place on the night of Ms Steenkamp’s death following testimony from her father, Barry Steenkamp.

In her remarks, Judge Masipa highlighted how Pistorius had successfully completed programmes in prison. “This is my view that the accused is a good candidate for rehabilitation and that the other purposes of punishment ought not to play a dominant role in sentencing.”

Judge Masipa also told the court it is dealing with two different people when it comes to Pistorius on his stumps and Pistorius wearing his prostheses.

“Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court,” she said. “I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice.”

Pistorius appeared unemotional as he stood in court to hear his sentence. He then hugged his tearful sister Aimee before being led away to holding cells by guards.

As Judge Masipa delivered her verdict, Barry and Ms Steenkamp’s mother June stared ahead. Barry declined to comment on whether he would appeal Pistorius' sentence after the hearing, saying: “We'll leave that to the State.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in