Health Care

Oscar Pistorius Has Sentence More Than Doubled By Supreme Court Of Appeal

Oscar Pistorius Has Sentence More Than Doubled By Supreme Court Of Appeal

A South African court has more than doubled the sentence handed to former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. At the Supreme Court of Appeal, Prosecutors argued that the six-year sentence was "shockingly lenient".

The South Africa Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the previous sentence was "shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivializing this serious offense".

"The sentence...with respect to murder is set aside and substituted with the following: the respondent's imprisonment for 13 years and five months", said Judge Legoabe Willie Seriti, according to News 24.

Pistorius was imprisoned in July past year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 in a case that attracted worldwide interest. Claiming he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder, he was initially convicted of manslaughter.

Ms Nazreen Shaik Peremanov, a constitutional law don in South Africa, said Pistorius could appeal the latest sentence at the country's highest court: the Constitutional Court.

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled the state failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius was guilty of premeditated murder, but may still be guilty of culpable homicide - equivalent to the United Kingdom law of manslaughter. "They just feel that their trust in the justice system has been confirmed this morning", Tania Koen, a spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family, told Reuters. The court agreed and the sentence is now 13 years. "After the trial‚ he tried to make contact‚" Roux said.

Pistorius must serve at least half of the 13 years and five months - almost seven years - before he can be considered for parole. Pistorius was moved from the high security Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in central Pretoria to Atteridgeville, which houses prisoners sentenced to six years or less.