South African blade runner, Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The Paralympian hugged his sister, Aimee, and brother, Carl, before he was taken down to the cells after hearing his sentence on July 6. He is expected to be moved directly to prison immediately.
Apparently the sentence was much lower than expected as public prosecutors had demanded the mandatory minimum for murder of 15 years. The 29-year-old former athlete showed little emotion, but looked relieved while his family made no immediate statement.
An appeal from Pistorius is considered unlikely, though public prosecutors may decide to challenge the sentence. Anxious looking Pistorius arrived for court healthier than how he looked during the hearings in June. He hugged members of his legal team and his family.
In an hour-long judgment, Judge Masipa said evidence she had heard convinced her Pistorius was “not a violent person”, was unlikely to re-offend and had showed remorse. The judge said she had to balance the interests of society, the accused and relatives of the victim. Pistorius, she said, was “a fallen hero, who has lost his career, and been ruined financially. He cannot be at peace.” She also stressed that a court should not be swayed by public opinion but that punishment must also reflect the seriousness of the offence. It should be “unpleasant, uncomfortable and painful”.
Recall that in the early morning of Thursday, 14 February 2013, Pistorius shot and killed South African model Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria. Pistorius acknowledged that he shot Steenkamp, causing her death, but said that he mistook her for a possible intruder.