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Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for murder

The Judge ruled the athlete is “a fallen hero and can never be at peace.”
Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years jail for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

This is less than the 15 year minimum jail term for the crime in South Africa, which prosecutors had hoped he would receive at sentencing on Wednesday (local time).

Paralympian Pistorius, 29, had his culpable homicide conviction upgraded to murder in December, after a lengthy appeal from prosecutors.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who was criticised for her original sentence in the 2014 trial, said at the most recent sentencing: “I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice.”

“Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court.”

Oscar kisses his sister Aimee after being sentenced

She added that there were “substantial and compelling circumstances” that meant Pistorius should not serve the 15-year minimum, stating that his life, like Reeva’s family’s, had been changed forever.

“The life of the accused will never be the same…He is a fallen hero, who has lost his career, and been ruined financially. He cannot be at peace.”

Judge Masipa also ruled that the mitigating factors – that he was vulnerable on his stumps, that he believed there was an intruder, and that he tried to save Steenkamp’s life after shooting her – “outweighed” the aggravating factors such as the lethal weapon, the high grade ammunition and firing four times knowing there was someone inside the toilet cubicle.

The Judge also dismissed claims that Pistorius and Steenkamp were in an abusive relationship, stating there was no evidence to support this claim.

Pistorius will likely have to serve half to two thirds of his sentence before he can apply for parole.

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