Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years for killing Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison
© AFP
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison for killing Reeva Steenkamp.

Six-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa told the High Court in Pretoria that giving the 27-year-old a non-custodial sentence would send "the wrong message to the community", but that a severe punishment "would not be appropriate as it lacks the element of mercy".

Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter), which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years behind bars, but was cleared of murder after claiming that he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder when he fired four gunshots through a toilet door at his home in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

The athlete's defence wanted the judge to impose a three-year house arrest, which included a community service order, while the prosecution called for a 10-year sentence in jail.

Pistorius was also sentenced to three years behind bars after being found guilty of a firearms offence, but the punishment has been suspended for five years.

Pistorius began his murder trial seven months ago.

Oscar Pistorius appearing at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on February 22, 2013
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