Oscar Pistorius gets six years for murder


Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius arrives in court on 6 July 2016.

PRETORIA – Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February 2013.

He will not be appealing the sentence.

The fallen sports star made global headlines when he shot the 29-year-old model several times through a locked bathroom door, later saying he thought she was an intruder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down the sentence in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday morning.

Masipa said she had to consider a number of factors to deliver a fair sentence. Some of these included “the offender, the offence, the influence of society and the victims of the offence,” she said.

She said the perception that Pistorius deliberately murdered Reeva "continues to exist", despite "not a shred of evidence".

The judge also said that she had to take into account the interests of society.

"The interests of society demand that people who commit serious crimes such as murder, be punished severely," said Masipa.

Pistorius was remorseful

Masipa said she disagreed with the state’s argument that the accused showed no remorse. She used the example of Pistorius trying repeatedly to meet with Barry and June Steenkamp to apologise for killing their daughter Reeva.

“What weighs heavily with me, amongst other things, was that the request was repeated more than once.”

“After his release, the accused tried once more to reach the deceased’s family, once more without success,” said Masipa.

“It is my view that  this must be one of the most difficult things for the accused, to face the parents of the deceased,” she said.

Click here to read: Reeva&39;s mother &39;unmoved&39; by Oscar&39;s tears, apology

Pistorius had been awaiting re-sentencing after the original verdict of culpable homicide was changed to murder by South Africa&39;s Supreme Court of Appeal in 2015.

After serving one year of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide, the South African athlete was released from prison in Pretoria last October.

Pistorius&39;s  defence team said his depression had worsened and he was in no state to testify in mitigation of a lower sentence.

He did however grant ITV news an exclusive interview.

Click here to watch the interview with Oscar Pistorius

Reeva&39;s father Barry Steenkamp gave an emotional testimony in aggravation of sentence on 14 June.

He said it had been difficult for him to forgive Pistorius and move on with his life.

Click here to watch Barry Steenkamp&39;s testimony