Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News World

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for Reeva Steenkamp murder

By Jonny Bell

Published 06/07/2016

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in jail for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home on Valentine's Day 2013. (Marco Langori/Pool Photo via AP)
Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in jail for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home on Valentine's Day 2013. (Marco Langori/Pool Photo via AP)
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa Wednesday, July 6, 2016.
Reeva Steenkamp's father Barry arrives at the High Court in Pretoria, on July 6, 2016 for the hearing of Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago.
South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (C-R) arrives at the Pretoria High Court for sentencing procedures in his murder trial on July 6, 2016.
South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives at the Pretoria High Court for sentencing procedures in his murder trial on July 6, 2016.
Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius (C), accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago, speaks to his lawyer Advocate Barry Roux as he arrives at the High Court in Pretoria, on July 6, 2016 for a hearing in his murder trail.
Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius (C), accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago, speaks to family members as he arrives at the High Court in Pretoria, on July 6, 2016 for a hearing in his murder trail.
Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius (L), accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago, speaks with a correctional service officer as he arrives at the High Court in Pretoria, on July 6, 2016 for a hearing in his murder trail.
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 6: Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court on July 6, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Oscar Pistorius appears at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa (AP)
Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius (C) smiles as he leaves the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, after his bail hearing, on December 8, 2015. AFP / POOL / SIPHIWE SIBEKOSIPHIWE SIBEKO/AFP/Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Pistorius arrived in a South African courtroom, where he is expected to apply for bail following his conviction for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius (C) trips as he arrives for his hearing at the South African Gauteng Division High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, on December 8, 2015. Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius will appear in court for a bail hearing that could put him back in prison after he was convicted of his girlfriend's murder on appeal. South African appeal judges last week found him guilty of murder and overturned his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. / AFP / STEFAN HEUNISSTEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images
South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius (L) arrives to the Pretoria High court for a bail hearing on December 8, 2015. Pistorius appeared in court for a bail hearing that could put him back in prison after he was convicted of his girlfriend's murder on appeal. South African appeal judges last week found him guilty of murder and overturned his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. / AFP / MUJAHID SAFODIENMUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius, right, consults with his defense lawyer Barry Roux in a courtroom of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015. Pistorius arrived in the South African courtroom, where he is expected to apply for bail following his conviction for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Herman Verwey, Pool)
Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius places his hands on his face as he stands in the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa during his bail hearing, on December 8, 2015. Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius will appear in court for a bail hearing that could put him back in prison after he was convicted of his girlfriend's murder on appeal. South African appeal judges last week found him guilty of murder and overturned his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. / AFP / POOL / SIPHIWE SIBEKOSIPHIWE SIBEKO/AFP/Getty Images
South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius listens to the judgement during a bail hearing at the Pretoria High Court on December 8, 2015. Pistorius was released on bail after his conviction for his girlfriend's murder, as his lawyers said they would launch an appeal to South Africa's constitutional court. South African appeal judges last week found him guilty of murder and overturned his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. / AFP / POOL AND AFP / HERMAN VERWEYHERMAN VERWEY/AFP/Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius, center, consults with his defense team in a courtroom of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015. Pistorius arrived in the South African courtroom, where he is expected to apply for bail following his conviction for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Herman Verwey, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius, left, talks with his defense lawyer Barry Roux in a courtroom of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015. Pistorius arrived in the South African courtroom, where he is expected to apply for bail following his conviction for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool)
Judge Aubrey Ledwaba addresses the bail hearing of South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court on December 8, 2015. Pistorius was released on bail after his conviction for his girlfriend's murder, as his lawyers said they would launch an appeal to South Africa's constitutional court. South African appeal judges last week found him guilty of murder and overturned his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. / AFP / POOL / Herman VerweyHERMAN VERWEY/AFP/Getty Images
Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius (L) smiles with a member of his defence team during his bail hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on December 8, 2015. Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was released on bail after his conviction for his girlfriend's murder, as his lawyers said they would launch an appeal to South Africa's constitutional court. / AFP / POOL / SIPHIWE SIBEKOSIPHIWE SIBEKO/AFP/Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in a courtroom at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Oscar Pistorius has been under house arrest
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius reacts as he listens to evidence by a pathologist in court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, April 7, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013 (AP)
Reeva and Pistorius in 2012
June Steenkamp (centre), the mother of Reeva Steenkamp, is comforted as appeals court Judge Leach delivers his verdict
June Steenkamp and her husband Barry (Channel 5/PA)
Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder by an appeals court
Oscar Pistorius reports for community service at Garsfontein police station in Pretoria. (AP)
Oscar Pistorius was convicted of the manslaughter of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp
June Steenkamp delivers a lecture to students at Saint Dominic's school in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (AP)
House arrest: Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius has been released from prison in Pretoria
Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison and moved to house arrest next week (AP)
Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius was handed a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (AP)
Oscar Pistorius is back in court in South Africa to be sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend, Reena Steenkamp (AP)

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius stood and faced Judge Thokozile Masipa as she announced the sentence in a Pretoria courtroom.

He was facing a possible 15-year jail term for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door at his home in 2013, but Judge Masipa said substantial and compelling circumstances existed to give him a lesser sentence.

Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, were in the courtroom, which was packed with relatives of both Pistorius and Steenkamp and other observers.

In reading out the sentence, Judge Masipa said Pistorius was a "fallen hero".

The judge ordered a recess to give prosecutors and Pistorius's defence lawyers time to decide if either wanted to appeal against the sentence.

Pistorius was initially sentenced to five years in prison - and served one year before being moved to house arrest - after being found guilty in 2014 of manslaughter for Reeva Steenkamp's 2013 killing.

That ruling was overturned by South Africa's Supreme Court last year, and Pistorius was convicted of murder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, the judge who initially acquitted Pistorius of murder at his trial, is presided over the sentencing hearings.

Prosecutors had depicted Pistorius as an arrogant figure with a sense of entitlement and a love of guns.

Oscar Pistorius right, is comforted by his brother, Carl Pistorius, inside court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday May 5, 2014 (AP Photo/Ihsaan Haffejee, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius right, is comforted by his brother, Carl Pistorius, inside court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday May 5, 2014 (AP Photo/Ihsaan Haffejee, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April 9
Oscar Pistorius looks straight ahead inside a courtroom at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday May 5 (AP Photo/Ihsaan Haffejee, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, May 5
June Steenkamp listens to Oscar during cross examination in the Pretoria High Court on April 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2014. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Craig Nieuwenhuizen/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gina Myers, Reeva Steenkamp's best friend, is overcome with emotion as she listens to Oscar Pistorius' testimony in the Pretoria High Court on April 9, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2014. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi - Pool/Getty Images)
Sister of Oscar Pistorius, Aimee Pistorius, second from right, cries as she listens as her brother testifies in court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day 2013. (AP Photo/Kim Ludbrook, Pool)
Oscar and Aimee Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court on April 7, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius, stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2014. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Deaan Vivier - Pool/Getty Images)
Oscar Pistorius reacts as he listens to evidence by a pathologist in court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, April 7, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)
June Steenkamp (2nd L), Reeva Steenkamp's mother listens to Oscar Pistorius' testimony in the Pretoria High Court on April 9, 2014
Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Oscar Pistorius sits with his head in his hands in the dock on the third day of his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool)
Reporters listen to the live feed from the court on the third day of Oscra Pistorius's trial on March 5, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Oscar Pistorius blocks his ears inside the high court on the second day of his trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Kim Ludbrook, Pool)
Media and public surround the car carrying Oscar Pistorius as he leaves the North Gauteng High Court after the second day of his trial accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on March 4, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A stray dog sits next to a newspaper poster on the second day of the Oscar Pistorius trial on March 4, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Oscar Pistorius (C) leaves North Gauteng High Court amid a media scrum after the second day of his trial accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on March 4, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Office workers watch Oscar Pistorius leave North Gauteng High Court amid a media scrum after the second day of his trial accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on March 4, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Lawyer for Oscar Pistorius, Barry Roux, in court on the second day of Pistorius' trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Kim Ludbrook, Pool)
Media and locals brave the rain as they wait to try and get a glimpse of Oscar Pistorius as he leaves North Gauteng High Court at the end of the first day of his trial accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on March 3, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A television reporter holds a newpaper as he files a report from inside the foyer of North Gauteng High Court as Oscar Pistorius faces trial accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on March 3, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Abandoned step ladders and equipment stand on the pavement outside North Gauteng High Court as Oscar Pistrious slips into court through another door and journalists pursue him on March 3, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Oscar Pistorius looks shortly after arriving for his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)
Oscar Pistorius arrives for his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)
From left, Oscar Pistorius' sister Aimee, his aunt Lois, and uncle Arnold wait for the start of his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)
June Steenkamp, the mother of as Reeva Steenkamp, arrives at the high court for the start of the trial of Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 03: A newspaper vendor sells the Pretoria News as the Oscar Pistorius trail starts at North Gauteng High Court on March 3, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Aimee Pistorius,left, the sister of Oscar Pistorius, speaks with unidentified people as she arrives for his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Oscar Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Carl Pistorius, right, the brother of Oscar Pistorius walks outside the high court before the start of his brother's trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock prior to the start of his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, ool)
Oscar Pistorius, center front, arrives for his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo)
Carl Pistorius, at center in blue suit, the brother of Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police as he arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Oscar Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 03: June Steenkamp (R), the mother of Reeva Steenkamp, arrives at North Gauteng High Court for the trial of Oscar Pistorius on March 3, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, aged 27, is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius denies the allegation claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder inside their home on Valentines Day 2013. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Reeva Steenkamp's coffin arrives at her funeral ceremony in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AP)
Oscar Pistorius weeps in court in Pretoria at his bail hearing in the murder case of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (AP)
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, center. leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken into custody and was expected to appear in court Thursday after a 30-year-old woman who was believed to be his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. (AP Photo/Chris Collingridge) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
In this Nov. 4, 2012 photo, South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, believed to be his girlfriend, at an awards ceremony, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken into custody and was expected to appear in court Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, after a 30-year-old woman who was believed to be his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. (AP Photo/Lucky Nxumalo-Citypress) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
File photo dated 08/09/12 of Oscar Pistorius after winning his gold medal at the Paralympic games in 2012. A woman has been found shot dead at his South African home. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday September 8, 2012. See PA story POLICE Pistorius. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire
Reality TV show Tropika Island of Treasure, featuring Reeva Steenkamp, was filmed last year (AP/Stimulii)
This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 on Thursday Feb. 14, 2013, shows the gated housing complex with the home of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been arrested in the shooting death of his girlfriend, police and the woman's talent agent said Thursday. (AP Photo/VNS24/7)
Barry Steenkamp sympathised that Oscar Pistorius hero must be 'going through a difficult time' after his daughter Reeva was shot dead (AP)

Dressed in a dark suit, Pistorius sat calmly on a bench during the testimony, mostly with his head down.

Mr Barry and June Steenkamp, the parents of the model Pistorius killed by shooting multiple times through a toilet door in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013, were also present in court for the sentencing.

More: Oscar Pistorius: From blade running golden boy of athletics to murderer

During the hearings a clinical psychologist described Pistorius as a "broken man" whose mental state has deteriorated over the last two years and he should be hospitalised and not jailed

In his testimony, Prof Jonathan Scholtz described Pistorius as despondent and forgetful, and said further imprisonment for the convicted murderer would not be "psychologically or socially constructive".

Instead, Prof Scholtz recommended that Pistorius use his skills and past experience in charity to give back to society by helping disadvantaged and disabled people, particularly youths.

He noted that Pistorius had sold his firearms, became jumpy even at the sound of gunfire on television, and was unlikely to resort to violence again.

He also said Pistorius was subjected to several "traumatic and humiliating experiences" during the year he spent in prison, including being forced to shower while sitting on the concrete floor because of his disability.

Pistorius spent 18 hours a day in solitary confinement while in prison, Prof Scholtz said, and was treated "like an animal in a cage".

Prosecutor Nel challenged Prof Scholtz on some of those claims surrounding Pistorius' imprisonment.

 

In this undated handout publicity photo supplied by Stimulii taken on the island of Jamaica, Reeva Steenkamp poses on set during the shooting of the reality show Tropika Island of Treasure which premieres on state television Saturday, Feb 16, 2013. South Africa's national broadcaster says it will screen the show featuring the dead model girlfriend of double-amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius, two days after she was shot and killed at Pistorius' home. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Stimulii-HO)
In this undated handout publicity photo supplied by Stimulii taken on the island of Jamaica, Reeva Steenkamp poses on set during the shooting of the reality show Tropika Island of Treasure which premieres on state television Saturday, Feb 16, 2013. South Africa's national broadcaster says it will screen the show featuring the dead model girlfriend of double-amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius, two days after she was shot and killed at Pistorius' home. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Stimulii-HO)
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp arrive for an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2012.
Lost life: Reeva Steenkamp
Torn apart: June Steenkamp with Reeva as a baby
Reality TV show Tropika Island of Treasure, featuring Reeva Steenkamp, was filmed last year (AP/Stimulii)
A woman holds a photo of Reeva Steenkamp as she leaves her funeral in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AP)
The door through which Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp used as evidence in court on April 14, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Antoine de Ras/Independent Newspapers/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius was convicted last year of manslaughter for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in a courtroom at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool)

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph