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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Oscar Pistorius Finally Sentenced to 5 years in Prison

A judge has sentenced athlete Oscar Pistorius to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend after one of the most sensational murder trials in South Africa's history.

The Olympic and Paralympic runner was convicted of
culpable homicide last month for shooting dead 29-year-old law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria in February 2013.

Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder, saying prosecutors had failed to prove his intent to kill when he fired four 9mm rounds through the door of a toilet cubicle in what he said was the mistaken belief an intruder was lurking behind it.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel said at the sentencing
hearing last week that only 10 years imprisonment
would satisfy the South African public. They would lose
their faith in the justice system if Pistorius avoids jail,
Nel said.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux said, however, that the
double-amputee sprinter should be given community
service because his sorrow and regret at being killing
the woman he loved was the worst punishment of all.
He also said Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby, would face particular difficulties
in prison.

The 27-year-old sprinter, known as 'Blade Runner'
because of the carbon-fibre prosthetics he made
famous at the London 2012 Olympics, could also be
given a suspended sentence or house arrest.
The six-month trial captivated South Africans and
many people around the world who admired Pistorius
as a symbol of triumph over physical adversity. With
its glamorous victim, tears and tragedy, and Pistorius'
fall from grace, it has been endlessly discussed.
It also highlighted the country's endemic violence - in
domestic situations in which women suffer abuse from
their partners, and also in its high crime rate. The
claim that Pistorius feared his home had been invaded
struck a chord with some South Africans.

Pistorius' sister Aimee said on Monday the shooting
and trial had been damaging for everyone.
"The guilt and ridicule that surrounds it as well as the
exposure...and just the heartache for both my brother,
my family and of course the Steenkamp family," she said.


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