Wednesday 23 May 2018

'Shockingly lenient' Pistorius sentence more than doubled

Oscar Pistorius. Photo: Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius. Photo: Getty Images

James Macharia in Johannesburg

South Africa's Supreme Court more than doubled Oscar Pistorius's murder sentence yesterday, accepting prosecutors' argument that the original jail term of six years for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was "shockingly lenient".

The gold medal-winning athlete, a double amputee known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, was not in court to hear the new sentence of 13 years and five months.

Ms Steenkamp's family welcomed the revised term - the minimum 15 years prescribed for murder, minus the time Pistorius has already served - and said it showed justice could prevail in South Africa.

"This is an emotional thing for them," Tania Koen, a family spokeswoman, said.

"They just feel that their trust in the justice system has been confirmed this morning,"

Barry Steenkamp, father of the slain model, told SABC television the family could now get on with their lives.

"I always, from the beginning, said justice had not been served, now it has," he said.

The athlete was jailed in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering Ms Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 by firing through a bathroom door.

Irish Independent

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