Pistorius given five-year sentence

Track star handed punishment for culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year.

    Olympic and paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

    A South African court found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide on Tuesday following a seven-month trial that received extensive media coverage in the country and around the world.

    Pistorius' lawyer, Barry Roux, said he expected the athlete to serve 10 months in jail and spend the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

    Pistorius had maintained that he thought Steenkamp, who was in the bathroom when she was shot through a closed door, was an intruder.

    Steenkamp's lawyer told reporters that "justice was served today".

    After the sentence was passed, Steenkamp's ailing father Barry said he was "very glad" the seven-month trial is over and a lawyer for the family said the sentence was "welcome".

    He was also given a three year suspended sentence on a separate gun charge.

    South African judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius for shooting dead Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

    "Count one, culpable homicide, the sentence imposed is five years," Masipa said, adding that the non-custodial sentences proposed by defence witnesses "would not be appropriate".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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