Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius Has Jail Sentence Doubled
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Nov 25, 2017,
Nov 25, 2017, 0:57
Judge Willie Seriti, reading out the court's decision, said: "The sentence imposed.in respect of murder is set aside and substituted with the following: The respondent is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 13 years and five months".
Pistorius killed Steenkamp by firing four shots through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day in 2013.
After the conviction was appealed by the state on the basis that it was "shockingly lenient", it was replaced by a murder charge and Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison, before the sentence was extended to 13 years and five months on Friday.
Pistorius, a double amputee whose legs were amputated at the age of one because of a congenital defect, rose to prominence as a Olympic sprinter competing against able-bodied athletes. In 2014, he was convicted of manslaughter due to a lack of sufficient evidence of a more serious offense. To date, he has served just over a year of that six-year sentence.
Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, were "emotional" as they watched Seriti deliver the verdict live on television at their home, family lawyer Tania Koen said.
Pistorius' legal counsel said the claims that his client is not remorseful are false.
Supreme Court judges are generally reluctant to change sentences handed down by trial courts, and it's rare for them to change one so dramatically. He has served a year and five months of his murder sentence.
"Leave to appeal should really not be granted", he said.
Pistorius, who turned 31 on Wednesday, is being held at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre on the outskirts of the South African capital, Pretoria, and did not attend any of the appeal hearings.
This is the third time Pistorius has faced a different sentence in the case.
Pistorius can appeal the new sentence, according to Kelly Phelps, an adviser to his defense team, but no decision has been made.
Murders usually earn a minimum sentence of 15 years in South Africa, but the judge said Pistorius had been vulnerable on his stumps, and had tried to save Steenkamp's life after shooting her.