Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been jailed for six years for murdering his lover Reeva Steenkamp. He could have faced a life sentence, or a minimum of 15 years, after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his manslaughter conviction and found him guilty of murder. Judge Thokozile Masipa spent just over an hour summing up her reasons behind the sentence, describing him as a “fallen hero”. But she said she took into account his remorse, the impact the killing had on Ms Steenkamp’s family, the public interest and the impact the crime had had on Pistorius.
The life of the accused will never be the same … He is a fallen hero, who has lost his career, and been ruined financially. He cannot be at peace.
The 29-year-old has admitted shooting Ms Steenkamp through a bathroom door at his Pretoria home but always claimed it was an accident, mistaking her for a burglar. His lawyer, Barry Roux, was seen punching the air as the announcement was made - indicating that the defence is unlikely to appeal the sentence. Pistorius could be eligible for parole in three years, and he is expected to return to prison immediately. However, Jacqui Mofokeng, of the African National Congress women’s league, said: “The judgment is an insult to women. It sends the wrong message.”
There is nothing [the family] can do about the sentence. Nothing will bring Reeva back. The best thing to do is to maintain a dignified silence.
Doup De Bruyn, a lawyer for the Steenkamp family