Oscar Pistorius to appeal against increased murder sentence

South African athlete is serving 13 years and five months for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013

Oscar Pistorius seen at a court hearing in 2013. He was originally convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison. Photograph: Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images


Oscar Pistorius will appeal against his increased prison sentence of 13 years and five months at South Africa’s constitutional court, documents show.

South Africa’s supreme court of appeal (SCA) more than doubled his murder sentence last month, accepting prosecutors’ arguments that the original term of six years for shooting dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was “shockingly lenient”.

Pistorius killed the model and law graduate by firing four bullets from a handgun through a closed toilet door at his luxury home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day 2013. He claimed he had mistaken her for a burglar.

Steenkamp’s family welcomed the longer sentence and said it showed that justice could prevail in South Africa, but Pistorius will now appeal to the country’s highest court.

The SCA said Pistorius “displays a lack of remorse, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions”.

The high court judge Thokozile Masipa initially sentenced Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014. The sentence was much lower than many had expected and was widely criticised.

He served only 10 months of the five-year sentence in prison before being released and put under house arrest.

The state appealed against the culpable homicide conviction, and it was later replaced with murder by the SCA in 2016. Masipa handed down a six-year jail term in July 2016 and Pistorius was returned to jail.

The Paralympic athlete was not in court for last month’s ruling, where the court handed down the minimum 15-year sentence prescribed for murder in South Africa, then subtracted the years Pistorius had already served in jail.

This month Pistorius was injured in an altercation with another inmate over the use of a public phone, according to the Department of Correctional Services.


Source: theguardian.com

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