Pis­to­rius sen­tenced to six years in jail

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

South African Olympic ath­lete Os­car Pis­to­rius has been sen­tenced to six years in prison for the mur­der of his girl­friend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

It comes af­ter his ini­tial five-year con­vic­tion for man­slaugh­ter was changed to mur­der last De­cem­ber on ap­peal.

He was taken im­me­di­ately to jail. Both the prose­cu­tion and de­fence can ap­peal, but his lawyers say they will not.

Pis­to­rius, 29, shot Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked toi­let door in Fe­bru­ary 2013.

He ad­mit­ted shoot­ing her, but said he had mis­taken Ms Steenkamp for an in­truder and acted out of fear.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances, such as re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­morse, out­weighed ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors, such as his fail­ure to fire a warn­ing shot, for de­vi­at­ing from the pre­scribed 15-year sen­tence.

Many have ex­pressed shock at Pis­to­rius’s sen­tence, which is much less than the pre­scribed min­i­mum for mur­der. South Africans have taken to so­cial me­dia to ex­press their un­hap­pi­ness, with some de­scrib­ing the prison term as an in­sult.

Out­side court, le­gal ex­perts said the sen­tence was too lit­tle. “The judge was sym­pa­thetic and em­pa­thetic to Pis­to­rius. It was clear in the tone of her en­tire judge­ment,” one said.

But Judge Masipa said she had care­fully con­sid­ered the cir­cum­stances around Reeva Steenkamp’s death and her sen­tence needed to be fair to both Pis­to­rius and the fam­ily of the de­ceased.

Os­car Pis­to­rius

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