Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years in prison

Judge Masipa has said there were “substantial and compelling reasons” to deviate from the 15-year minimum sentence for murder, according to reports.

Oscar Pistorius with his head in his hands

by Francesca Battson and Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was today (July 6) sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

The verdict comes after his initial conviction of manslaughter, which was changed to murder last December after the appeal of the prosecution.

According to The Guardian, Judge Masipa told the court that no sentence would please everyone, and that nothing will bring back the deceased.

We will bring you more on this news as it happens.


During his trial, shocking photos of Reeva Steenkamp’s body were released by trial judge Thokozile Masipa, after requests from prosecutor Gerrie Nel and Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp.

Explaining the reasoning behind their decision, Mr Nel said: “Isn't it time for the world to see what Oscar Pistorius did with Black Talon rounds to Reeva Steenkamp's head?”

In the images, the extent of the injuries inflicted upon Reeva can be clearly seen.

Oscar Pistorius had shot her four times, using Black Talon bullets.

According to reports, this ammunition is primarily used by members of the military.

The deadly bullets are designed to expand upon impact.

Speaking before the images were released, an emotional Barry Steenkamp took to the stand.

He said: "I want the world to see. I want the world to see the photos of the wounds inflicted on her.

“To know my daughter's pain. To know what her last few seconds were like, so that this is stopped - so that others do not have to go through this ever."

The grieving father added that he hoped the images would deter other would-be killers - and lead to Pistorius paying for his crimes.

"He has to pay for what he did," he said repeatedly.


Reeva Steenkamp - court released photos of her dead body

Reeva’s 73-year-old father went on to explain to Pretoria's High Court that he had had no contact with Pistorius, but said that wife June had been able to forgive the double-amputee athlete.

"You must understand why forgiving doesn't exonerate you from the crime you committed," he said.

The former Paralympian faces a minimum 15-year jail term for killing Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

He had fired at her four times through a locked toilet door during the early hours of the morning.

He later confessed to shooting her, but said that he mistook her for an intruder.

He said: “I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps. I believed that someone had entered my house.

“I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom I screamed … for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.”

Oscar grabbed his cricket bat to break down the toilet door, and police found him sitting with Reeva’s body when they arrived at the property a short while later.

However, earlier this year, new evidence was uncovered, which suggests that Oscar and Reeva were involved in a violent struggle shortly before her untimely death.

Writing in their book, Oscar vs The Truth, the forensic investigators revealed that they found that Reeva’s gunshot wounds did NOT match the top she was found dead in.

Which was, as new CCTV footage evidence has now revealed, was the same top that Reeva was wearing when she drove up to Oscar’s home that night.

Thomas Mollet explained: "Reeva could not have been wearing the black vest she was wearing when Oscar brought her downstairs from the bathroom after the shooting.

“It can only have been put on afterwards.”

He continued: “We can’t say when or why he decided to put it on her, we can only say it was certainly not worn at the time she died.

"There is absolutely no sign of any hole in the vest resulting from the bullet wound to her hip – and the vest is a long one.

"There is no sign of the bullet that struck her chest. And there is very little blood on the vest and it would have been really soaked with blood if she’d been wearing it at the time of the shooting."

He alleges that Oscar had ripped Reeva’s vest from her in a violent struggle, causing her to flee into the bathroom whilst naked from the waist up.

The torn handle of the cricket bat used to bash open the door, he added, further corroborates the idea that there was a vicious altercation between the model and the paralympian.

He said: "If you look at the scene, the chaos, the evidence in totality, the damage to the doors, and the unaccounted for injuries on Reeva’s body and link all that to what the neighbours heard…

“You can only conclude that the last minutes of her life were absolute hell.”

Mollet also revealed that police found a stash of black bin bags and tape next to Reeva’s body.

Oscar claimed that he had used the bags to stem the flow of Reeva’s blood, but Mollet insisted that this is “illogical”; black bags can not stem blood flow as they are not absorbent.

Oscar Pistorius' conviction was upgraded to murder in 2015, after an appeal by the prosecution.

Remembering Reeva

Reeva Steenkamp and Anene Booysen (a South African teenager who was brutally raped and murdered) were named as Daily Maverick's SA Persons of the year 2013.

"Let us remember Reeva, the person. Let us mourn less for the loss of a sportsman's career and more for the squandering of the life of a vibrant, intelligent 29-year-old whose future was just beginning to take the shape she had dreamed of," the newspaper said.

"Let us remember a woman of deep empathy, who we know to have been moved and horrified by the death of Anene Booysen, just weeks before her own."

They continued: "Let us remember Reeva, and Anene, and the countless other women whose deaths and rapes are considered so unexceptional that they warrant not even a single mention in a newspaper.

“Let us remember them as people, and not simply as the statistics we bear as a mark of national shame.”

You may also wish to read…

Reeva Steenkamp: Her inspiring life - and tragic death

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