Pretoria: Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been jailed for six years today for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago. Pistorius was freed from prison in the South African capital Pretoria last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide – the equivalent of manslaughter.
But an appeals court upgraded the conviction to murder, which has a mandatory sentence of 15 years. But Judge Thokozile Masipa indicated this morning that she had taken into consideration mitigating factors and the athlete will receive less than the usual minimum jail term.
The sentencing may also not be the end of the saga, as Pistorius or the state could launch a final round of appeals against the length of the prison term. Pistorius, 29, shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.
The athlete looked pale, drawn and hollow-eyed as he arrived at court this morning. He spent several minutes hugging his family, friends and legal team who gathered in large numbers to support him.