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Prosecutors appeal Oscar Pistorius 'shockingly lenient' Reeva Steenkamp murder sentence

Published 21/07/2016

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)

Prosecutors in South Africa are to appeal against the sentence given to the athlete Oscar Pistorius for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

The Paralympic athlete was handed a six-year jail term for the murder of his partner on Valentine’s Day 2013 after a previous manslaughter conviction was overturned.

Prosecutors described the sentence as "shockingly too lenient" and will push for it to be extended.

More:

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for Reeva Steenkamp murder

Oscar Pistorius: From blade runner golden boy to murderer

Blade runner Pistoruis - his long battle to compete

Pistorius made history in London in 2012 when he became the first amputee athlete to take part in the Olympic Games.

The multiple Paralympic gold medal winner, who had to win a legal battle to line up alongside able-bodied athletes on his Ossur Flex-Foot Cheetah hi-tech "legs", raced in the 400m and the 4x400m relay.

Pistorius was born in Pretoria in 1986 without the fibula in both legs.

When he was aged 11 months, his parents make the decision to have his legs amputated below the knee.

Oscar Pistorius with murdered Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius with murdered Reeva Steenkamp
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 6: Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court on July 6, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa.
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.
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.
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)
Former champion Paralympian Oscar Pistorius faces 15 years behind bars for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
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.
Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius' prosthetic lay on the floor as he prepares to walk on his stumps during argument in mitigation of sentence by his defence attorney Barry Roux in the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. An appeals court found Pistorius guilty of murder and not a lesser charge of culpable homicide for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool Photo via AP)
Pistorius walks in the courtroom after removing his prosthetic legs
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 15: Oscar Pistorius sits as he prepares to walk across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of Oscar's hearing for a resentence at Pretoria High Court on June 15, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa. Having had his conviction upgraded to murder in December 2015, Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius is attending his sentencing hearing and will be returned to jail for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14th 2013. The hearing is expected to last five days. (Photo by Siphiwe Sibeko - Pool/Getty Images)
Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva Steenkamp, gives evidence in mitigation of sentence as Oscar Pistorius appears in the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, June 14, 2016 on the second day of the double-amputee runner's sentencing hearing for murdering girlfriend Steenkamp. The father of Reeva Steenkamp has testified in a South African court that her fatal shooting by Oscar Pistorius "devastated" his family and that today he thinks of her "all the time." (AP Photo/Kim Ludbrook, Pool)
South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius cries inside the dock at the high court in Pretoria, on June 14, 2016 on the second day of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius pre sentencing hearing set to send him back to jail for murdering his girlfriend three years ago. The double-amputee killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kim LUDBROOKKIM LUDBROOK/AFP/Getty Images

His desire to compete was clear from an early age as he played rugby, water polo and tennis as a schoolboy.

In early 2004, aged 17, he turned to athletics after shattering his right knee playing rugby.

Wearing blades his impact was immediate - after two months training he set a new world record of 11.51 seconds in the 100m at an open competition at the Pilditch Stadium in Pretoria.

That September he won gold in the 200m at the Paralympic Games in Athens, setting a new world record of 21.97 seconds, plus a bronze in the 100m.

Pistorius had already set his sights on competing against able-bodied athletes. In 2005 he finished sixth in the open/able-bodied category 400m at the South African Open Championships.

The next few years saw more Paralympic medals, plus the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason award, for outstanding courage and achievement in the face of adversity.

But in January 2008 his hopes of taking part in the Beijing Olympics suffered a setback when the IAAF ruled that his prosthetic legs were ineligible for use in competitions conducted under its rules, including the Olympic Games.

He appealed and the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed the ban the following May.

However, he failed to qualify for the South African Olympic team in the 400m, despite running a personal best of 46.25 seconds.

He later took part in the Beijing Paralympics, winning gold in the 100m, 200m and the 400m, setting a new world record in the 400m.

Four years later he was named in the South African team for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

After getting to the semi-finals of the 400m individual event, he was part of the South Africa team which finished eighth in the 4x400m relay final.

He later carried his country's flag at the closing ceremony.

His performances in the Paralympic Games also created a media storm - for a different reason.

After finishing second in the final of the 200m T44 classification, losing a lengthy lead to Alan Oliveira, Pistorius raised issues with the length of his Brazilian rival's blades.

The following day he apologised for his outburst, saying "I would never want to detract from another athlete's moment of triumph."

Pistorius went on to add gold in the 400m and the 4x100m metres relay to his Paralympic tally.

Away from the track Pistorius was a motivational speaker and an ambassador for the Mineseeker Foundation, which raises money to clear minefields and helps people affected by landmines.

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