The former Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been jailed for six years for the murder of his girlfriend three years ago.
Pistorius, aged 29, served nine months of a five-year sentence for manslaughter for the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in February 2013 before the state appealed the verdict.
Today at a court in Pretoria, Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to six years.
‘I have taken the view that mitigating circumstances outweigh the aggravating factors,’ said Judge Masipa.
‘A long term of imprisonment will not serve justice in this matter.’
Oscar Pistorius holds his sister Aimee (Picture: Getty Images)
June and her father Barry Steenkamp in court today (Picture: Getty Images)
The sentencing may not be the end of the Pistorius case as both the prosecution and the defence have the right to appeal.
Last month during a pre-sentence hearing, the six-time Paralympic gold medallist walked across the court without his prosthetic legs to illustrate his vulnerability, which his legal team argue is a mitigating factor. They also point to his remorse over the shooting, the BBC reports. The former athlete’s psychologist Jonathan Scholtz said in report that Pistorius was a ‘broken man’ who should not be jailed for the murder of his girlfriend.
‘In my opinion his current condition warrants hospitalisation,’ Scholtz said, adding that Pistorius was ‘not in the right frame of mind’ to testify.
Critics of Oscar Pistorius say he has shown no remorse for the murder and only ‘feels sorry for himself’ (Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/AFP/Getty Images)
‘Since 2013, he becomes traumatised when he hears the sound of gunfire,’ Scholtz said. ‘He never wants to touch a firearm again.’
Critics of Pistorius, meanwhile, say that Pistorius has shown little remorse.
A police photograph of the crime scene and the cricket bat Pistorius used to break down the door after he had shot Reeva (Picture: South African Police Service)
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned Scholtz’s assertion that Pistorius was not fit to testify, saying he had given an hour-long TV interview.
Nel told the court Pistorius had shown no remorse for the murder, and that he only ‘feels sorry for himself’.
The interview, which was broadcast on ITV a fortnight ago, saw Pistorius give his version of the events, accompanied by a dramatic reconstruction and punctuated with sobbing fits.
Critics say it was insulting to the family of Ms Steenkamp.