Jul 07, 2016

    6 years' jail for Pistorius for murder of girlfriend


    SOUTH African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in jail yesterday for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home three years ago.

    High Court judge Thokozile Masipa listed several mitigating factors for sentencing him to less than half the minimum 15-year term for murder, including the athlete's claim he believed he was shooting an intruder.

    Pistorius, 29, hugged his family before being taken out of the court in Pretoria to begin serving his term.

    The double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic sprinter was freed from prison last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide - the equivalent of manslaughter.

    But an appeals court upgraded his conviction to murder in December.

    Pistorius shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through his bedroom toilet door.

    The sentencing may not be the end of the long legal battle as Pistorius or the state could launch a final round of appeals against the length of the prison term.

    The Supreme Court of Appeal in December ruled he was guilty of murder, irrespective of who he believed was behind the door, when he opened fire with a high-calibre pistol he kept under his bed.