Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Oscar Pistorius Gets Six-Year Jail Term for Murdering Reeva Steenkamp But is Likely to Serve Just Three Because of His 'Special Circumstances'

Oscar Pistorius has been handed a six-year jail term for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp - but could be out in 2019 after a judge outlined his 'special circumstances'.

The disgraced Paralympian was freed from prison in Pretoria, South Africa, last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide - the equivalent of manslaughter. 

But Judge Thokozile Masipa said this morning that the athlete - who she described as a 'fallen hero' - would receive less than the mandatory 15-year minimum jail term for a murder conviction.

She told the court he had already spent 12 months in jail, was a first time offender and that he was 'not likely to re-offend'. It means the 29-year-old could serve just three more years in jail. 

Pistorius had been asked to stand to face the judge as she announced the sentence. He was due to be taken to prison immediately following the lengthy hearing.

However, the sentencing may also not be the end of the saga, as Pistorius or the state could launch a final round of appeals against the length of the prison term. 
The judge ordered a recess to give prosecutors and Pistorius' defense lawyers time to decide if either wanted to appeal the sentence.  

Pistorius shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

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