Oscar Pistorius' Prison Sentence More Than Doubled

25 November, 2017, 01:32 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius attends the summary judgement on his trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria South Africa

The Supreme Court of Appeal, in Bloemfontein, has today increased the sentence of former Paralympian and Olympian Oscar Pistorius to 13 years for that crime.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp by firing four shots through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day in 2013.

In an announcement that took a matter of minutes, Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said a panel of judges unanimously upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius' original six-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp multiple times in his home in 2013. He was originally sentenced for culpable homicide, then replaced with murder in 2016.

In 2012, he became the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied runners at the London Olympics, adding to his fame as the "Blade Runner", a reference to his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs.

"They feel there has been justice for Reeva".

Judge Masipa ruled that although the Steenkamps had suffered a great loss, Pistorius' life and career were also in ruins.

Pistorius' brother, Carl, wrote on Twitter: "Shattered".

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled the state failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius was guilty of premeditated murder, but may still be guilty of culpable homicide - equivalent to the United Kingdom law of manslaughter.

The new sentence was backdated to start on the day he began his murder sentence, on July 6 previous year.

Attorney Marius du Toit, a legal expert in South Africa, told News 24 he thought the 13 years was "a heavy sentence".

Pistorius has to serve at least half of his new sentence before he is considered for parole.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but individual judges can lower the sentence if there are "substantial and compelling" reasons to do so.

Barry Roux, lead defence lawyer for Pistorius, said the athlete was suffering from severe and worsening post-traumatic stress disorder over the case.

Pistorius failed with an appeal to the Constitutional Court previous year to challenge his murder conviction.

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