Judge jails Pistorius
A South African judge has sentenced Oscar Pistorius to six years in prison for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Judge Thokozile Masipa yesterday said there were “substantial and compelling reasons” to deviate from the 15-year minimum sentence for murder, citing as one factor the continuing misperception that Pistorius had intended to kill his girlfriend. The double-amputee Olympian shot Steenkamp in 2013. The judge asked Pistorius to sit on a wooden bench in the Pretoria courtroom while she explained the reasons for her decision. “It now remains for this court to impose an appropriate sentence,” Masipa said. The judge said she had considered a variety of factors, including the interests of society and those of the victims, as well as themes of crime deterrence and rehabilitation of perpetrators. Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June, sat on the other side of the courtroom. Pistorius was initially acquitted of Steenkamp’s murder by Masipa at a trial in 2014. He served a year in jail for manslaughter but his conviction was changed to murder by South Africa’s Supreme Court last year. Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door at his home, and claimed he mistook her for an intruder. Prosecutors said the athlete killed his girlfriend intentionally after a row.
GUILTY: Oscar Pistorius