Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years in jail


Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in jail for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

The double-amputee Paralympian killed his girlfriend in their home on Valentine's Day 2013.

The chief prosecutor argued Pistorius should face a minimum sentence of 15 years, but Judge Masipa said the "mitigating circumstances outweigh the aggravating factors".

Oscar Pistorius, hugs his sister Aimee, right, in the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, on the third day of the double-amputee runner's sentencing hearing for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

She said Pistorius was genuinely remorseful, and was vulnerable without his prosthetic legs.

Pistorius was initially convicted of manslaughter in 2014 and served one year in prison. An appeals court then overturned that decision and convicted him of murder.

Judge Masipa, who initially acquitted Pistorius of murder during his first trial, read out the new sentence in a Pretoria courtroom.

Reeva Steenkamp

During the sentencing hearing, the courtroom saw Pistorius walking unsteadily without his prosthetic legs.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux asked Pistorius to remove his prostheses and the Paralympian, who had taken off his suit and put on a T-shirt and running shorts during a recess, then hobbled across the courtroom.

Oscar Pistorius walks on his stumps during argument in mitigation of sentence by his defence attorney Barry Roux in the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa

"I don't want to overplay disability," Mr Roux said ahead of the demonstration, "but the time has come that we must just look (at Pistorius) with different eyes".

Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he fired the fatal shots on Valentine's Day 2013; he testified at his murder trial that he felt vulnerable and thought an intruder was in the house.

Judge Masipa

Judge Masipa agreed that Pistorius should not be judged as the man who "won gold medals" but as the "vulnerable" man without prostheses.

Pistorius the Paralympian and Pistorius without his legs were "two different persons" and "ignoring this fact would lead to an injustice", said the judge.