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Oscar Pistorius facing jail for Reeva Steenkamp manslaughter

Oscar Pistorius is facing prison after being convicted of the manslaughter of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said the double-amputee (27) acted negligently when he opened fire on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius has always admitted firing the four shots that killed the 29-year-old model, but he said he believed he had been shooting at home intruders.

But judge Masipa said: "The unanimous decision of this court is the following... he is found guilty of culpable homicide."

She had earlier criticised Pistorius for acting hastily when he opened fire and said: "The accused had reasonable time to think, reflect and conduct himself. He chose to use a firearm. I am of the view the accused acted too hastily and used too much force. It is clear his conduct is negligent." The runner was also cleared of two gun charges and convicted of a third, which related to the firing of a gun in a restaurant.

Judge Masipa rejected an application by prosecutors to refuse bail and released him until sentencing on October 13.

The sentence for a culpable homicide conviction is at the judge's discretion, although it can range from a suspended jail term and a fine, to up to 15 years in prison.

The shamed sportsman made no comment as he left the court building and was bundled into a waiting car.

After the hearing, Arnold Pistorius, the athlete's uncle, said the family were "grateful" to the judge for finding him not guilty of murder.

"That's a big burden off our shoulders," he added. "We always knew the facts of the matter and ever had any doubt in Oscar's version of this incident.

"We remain deeply affected by this devastating tragedy."

But prosecutors said they were "disappointed" that the athlete was convicted of only two charges.

Meanwhile, the International Paralympic Committee said Pistorius would be allowed to compete in future events despite being found guilty.

Craig Spence, the body's director of media and communications, added: "Oscar has done a great deal for the Paralympic movement. He's been an inspiration to millions If he wishes to resume his career, we would not step in his way."

 

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