Oscar Pistorius has been jailed for five years for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The paralympian was delivered the verdict today (21.10.14) in court in Pretoria, South Africa, by judge Thokozile Masipa, who said she didn’t think a long sentence would be ”appropriate” but also thought the South African sportsman needed more than a custodial sentence.
She asked Pistorius to stand before saying: ”The following is a sentence that I consider to fair and just.”
There was no emotion on the 27-year-old sprinter’s face as he was given the five-year sentence for culpable homicide – which has been known to carry a 15-year jail term – and she also sentenced him to three years suspended for firearms offences.
Shortly before Masipa delivered her verdict to Pistorius, she said: ”I have weighed all the relevant factors.
”I have also taken into account the seriousness of the offence which led to the death of the deceased, the personal circumstances of the accused, and the needs of society.
”A non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community. A long sentence would also not be appropriate.”
Pistorius was later led down towards the cells and managed to hold hands with some of his family members before he was led away.
After giving out her verdict, the judge thanked the counsel on both sides for their help during the trial and the public gallery for their behavior.
She said: ”I want to thank the gallery. It was not an easy matter.”
Pistorius’ five-year sentence comes after he was found guilty of culpable homicide – akin to manslaughter in British law – in court on September 12, one day after the judge found him not guilty of murder.
The paralympian shot his 29-year-old girlfriend in his home in February last year but has always claimed he acted in self-defence in the mistaken belief she was an intruder. He pleaded not guilty to murder and three separate firearm charges.
The prosecution had previously claimed Pistorius had killed the blonde beauty following a big argument.
In June, Pistorius was declared fit to stand trial after his case was put on hold from May while he underwent a medical evaluation, in which four appointed psychiatrists had to decide whether he was ”capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act” or ”criminally responsible” for his behavior at the time of the shooting.
He rose to fame in South Africa after winning a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games in the 200 metres. He also went on to add five other gold medals to his collection in the 2008 Games in Beijing and at London 2012.