Five years for Oscar Pistorius – As precedence to the order, the International Paralympic Committee has decided not to allow Pistorius to run at any of its events for five years, even if he were released early.
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced five years of jail term for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by Judge Thokozile Masipa. The sentence comes 614 days after the killing.
Pistorius, 27, an amputee sprinter who became the first athlete to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, killed Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, reality TV star and law graduate, on Valentine’s Day last year.
Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide but was cleared of murder charges on the deposition that he thought he was attacking an intruder and that he didn’t know it was his girlfriend behind the locked bathroom door.
Steenkamp was hit three times by bullets fired by Pistorius through a locked bathroom door.
Prosecutors had called for a minimum 10-year term, and the defence had argued for community service and house arrest.
The “blade runner”, as he was famously called, showed no reaction to the order other than wiping his eyes before being led away. Pistorius is expected to serve 10 months in prison, with the rest under house arrest.
According to the BBC, Judge Masipa said she considered her sentence “fair and just, both to society and to the accused”.
She said: “A non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community. On the other hand, a long sentence would also not be appropriate either, as it would lack the element of mercy.”
Judge Masipa said that nothing she could say or do could bring back Reeva Steenkamp, but “hopefully, this judgment on sentence shall provide some sort of closure for the family”. The judge begun reading her decision by saying there must be a balance between retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation.
The judge also said: “It would be a sad day for this country if an impression were to be created that there was one law for the poor and disadvantaged, and another for the rich and famous.”
As precedence to the order, the International Paralympic Committee has decided not to allow Pistorius to run at any of its events for five years, even if he were released early.