Judge jails Pis­to­rius

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

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

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