Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years in prison for murder of Reeva Steenkamp
The presiding judge said she found 'substantial and compelling circumstances' in the South African Paralympic runner's defence to reduce his punishment.
South African Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday was sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in their Pretoria home in 2013. During the sentencing, presiding judge Thokozile Masipa said she found "substantial and compelling circumstances" to reduce the minimum sentence of 15 years for murder in South Africa, The Guardian reported.
Judge Masipa also disagreed with the prosecution who had argued that Pistorius was not remorseful for his actions. "Our courts are courts of law, not courts of public opinion," she said. Reports said that the defence is unlikely to appeal the sentence, though state prosecutors might.
Pistorius, a six-time Paralympic gold medallist, was found guilty of shooting Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in their Pretoria home in 2013. In September 2014, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide and given a five-year sentence. He was released from jail and ordered to remain under house arrest in October 2015. The time he already served will not count in his new sentence.
The verdict convicting him of culpable homicide was overturned in December last year, after the state appealed against it and replaced it with a murder conviction. During the trial over the last few months, the prosecution had pushed for Pistorius to be given the maximum punishment for murder in South Africa, while his defence argued for mitigating circumstances such as his amputation and remorse over the incident.