South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been jailed for five years for shooting dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steencamp in February 2013.
It follows the double-amputee athlete’s conviction last month of ‘culpable homicide’ – South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter – in one of the most sensational trials in the country’s history.
The defence team representing Pistorius, 27, says it expects the disabled athlete to serve just 10 months behind bars and the rest of his sentence under house arrest.
However, South Africa’s state prosecuting authority disputes this opinion, saying Pistorius is likely to serve at least a third of his sentence in prison – effectively 20 months.
Outside court in Pretoria, his uncle Arnold Pistorius accepted Judge Thokozile Masipa’s decision.
“The court has now handed down judgement and sentence. And we accept the judgement. Oscar will embrace this opportunity to pay back to society,” he said.
Steenkamp, 29, was killed almost instantly when Pistorius fired four shots through a bathroom door at his luxury Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year. Pistorius has always insisted that he mistook her for an intruder.
Her parents, Barry and June, said they were satisfied and felt justice had been served. But the Prosecution had asked for ten years jail and wanted a murder conviction.
“We are at this point going to consider whether to appeal the matter or not,” said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Mncube.
“It is not a very straightforward matter because there is law that we need to consider. There are cases that we have to study to make sure that when we do eventually take the matter for appeal, that we are able to support our decision.”
On a separate firearms charge, Pistorius was given a three year suspended sentence.
As for custody, the inspirational icon turned convicted killer is expected to serve his time in a hospital wing of the notorious Pretoria Central Prison.
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