Johannesburg: South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was sent back to prison on Wednesday. Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter who rose to worldwide fame for overcoming his disability to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. He jailed for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, inside his home in 2013.
High Court judge Thokozile Masipa listed several mitigating factors for sentencing him to less than half the minimum 15-year term for murder, including the athlete’s claim he believed he was shooting an intruder.
“The life of the accused shall also never be the same. He is a fallen hero who has lost his career and he is ruined financially,” said Ms. Masipa. Pistorius’s lawyer Andrew Fawcett said he would not appeal the term.
Parole conditions vary in South Africa, but the double-amputee Olympic sprinter may be able to apply for parole after serving just three years behind bars. Pistorius was released from same jail last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide the equivalent of manslaughter.
But an appeals court upgraded his conviction to murder in December. Steenkamp’s parents looked on quietly as the judge passed sentence. “We let the law run its course, nothing will bring Reeva back,” the family’s lawyer Petrus de Bruyn told media afterwards. Pistorius shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.