South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was Tuesday sentenced by a Pretoria court to five years in jail for the culpable homicide death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius was sentenced at the Pretoria High Court by Judge Thokozile Masipa, the Independent Online reported.
On Sep 12, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse.
The court found him not guilty of murdering Steenkamp. Cleared of murder, Masipa had said that the accused is found not guilty and is discharged; instead he is found guilty of culpable homicide. The sentence of the celebrity athlete was about to declared by the judge later.
On February 14, 2013, Steenkamp was shot in his home by Pistorius. When the prosecution said she was killed intentionally after an argument, Pistorius had said he mistook her for an intruder. Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.
Before declaring the homicide verdict, Pistorius was found guilty of negligently handling a gun in restaurant by the judge. "He may not have intentionally pulled the trigger… that does not absolve him of the crime of negligently handling a firearm," said Masipa. However, the maximum sentence for culpable homicide is up to 15 years in prison.
However, Pistorius was also sentenced to three years, suspended for five years, for firing a pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013. Further, he was found not guilty of shooting through the open sunroof of a car in Modderfontein Sep 30, 2012, and of illegal possession of ammunition.
Pistorius was taken to prison after the sentencing on Tuesday.
(With inputs from IANS)