The paralympics athlete, Oscar Pistorius, who was previously accused of having killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, last year, has finally been sentenced with a 5-year imprisonment. The trial had lasted for around 7 months, receiving much media coverage throughout the world and not only in South Africa.
Girlfriend killed on Valentine’s Day
Oscar Pistorius is a renowned athlete participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has won the hearts of many as an amputee sprinter.
His court case began last year, after he killed his girlfriend on the 14th of February 2013.
They were both at his house when, at a given moment, he thought an intruder had entered his bathroom. He had then shot thrice at the ‘intruder’ behind the bathroom door. However, he later realised that it was but his own girlfriend that had been fatally hit by the bullets.
In his defence, he argued that it had happened as an accident.
Judge Thokozile Masipa followed the case and Pistorius was finally cleared of murder, after he was convicted of culpable homicide.
The prosecution backed by lawyer Dup de Bruyn had wanted for him to be sentenced with a ten-year long imprisonment while the defence lawyer, Barry Roux, had previously expected for Pistorius to have a ten-month prison sentence, and had called for community service and house arrest.
Judge Masipa ultimately opted for a five-year imprisonment. Pistorius also has a three-year suspension from using firearms. Also, the International Paralympic Committee stated that Pistorius will not be allowed to participate in any of the events for a period of five years.
According to Judge Masipa, the retribution was “fair and just, both to society and to the accused”.
She also added that: “It would be a sad day for this country if an impression were to be created that there was one law for the poor and disadvantaged, and another for the rich and famous.” The three-year suspended term was for unlawfully firing a gun in a restaurant, in a separate incident before the Steenkamp killing.
The reaction of the families regarding the sentence
The parents of the victim, Reeva Steenkamp, stated being happy with the sentence.
The family of Oscar Pistorius are also relieved and they accept the judgment.
After the sentence was proclaimed by the Judge, Pistorius was transported in a police van to a place where he will be assessed, and thereafter, it would be decided as to where he would be detained based on his disability.