Oscar sentenced to SIX years behind bars


Oscar Pistorius will spend the next six years in prison for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. Moments ago in the High Court in Pretoria, Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced the 29-year-old to less than half the minimum 15-year sentence for murder.

"Nothing that this court can say or do today can bring back the life of the deceased," Judge Masipa said of Reeva's loved ones' struggle. As for Oscar's, she said, "Having taken the life of another human being, he can never be at peace." In her extensive explanation, she highlighted the fact that she disagreed with the State's view that Oscar had shown no remorse, citing that he had repeatedly asked to meet with Reeva's parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, to apologise.

"Mitigating factors outweigh aggravating factors," she said. Judge Masipa also reiterated that there was no evidence that Oscar and Reeva had argued before he shot and killed her, in spite of what the public might believe. In her initial sentencing for culpable homicide, she ruled Oscar would spend five years in prison. Read more: ‘How can this have happened?’ Oscar sobs during first TV interview since Reeva’s death

On December 3 last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered that the former paralympic athlete be sentenced afresh, after it overturned Masipa's finding that he was guilty of culpable homicide. It replaced her verdict with one of murder.

During sentencing proceedings in June, prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Judge Masipa to send Oscar to jail for a minimum of 15 years as he intentionally killed Reeva.

He said Oscar had still not shown remorse for murdering the model and law graduate on February 14, 2013. He had failed to take the court into his confidence and reveal his reasons for firing the four shots that killed her. Instead he gave an interview to broadcaster ITV. Nel said this was disrespectful to the court and to the Steenkamps.

Read more: GRAPHIC CONTENT: These are the photos Reeva’s parents want the world to see

Barry Roux, for Oscar, said he was a vulnerable man with an anxiety disorder, and was 1.50m tall on his stumps. Oscar confronted what he believed was an intruder hiding in his bathroom, in the dark, at 03.00 am that day in February, Roux said on June 15.

He was still portrayed as a gold-medal winner; a strong, ambitions man who was 1.84m tall. "That perception perfectly attaches to the I-wanted-to-kill theory."

Read more: Tears in court as Oscar takes off his prosthetic legs and stands on his stumps before judge

Judge Masipa also ruled that six photos of Reeva taken at the scene of the crime could be published. Nel made the request, following Barry Steenkamp's testimony that he wanted the world to see what Oscar did to his daughter. He said he hoped it would prevent similar crimes.

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