Oscar Pistorius: Supreme Court doubles sentence for murder of Reeva Steenkamp

By @chelean on
Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp at the Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 13, 2016.
Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp at the Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 13, 2016. Reuters/Phill Magakoe/Pool/Files

Oscar Pistorius’ sentence has been more than doubled. The disgraced Paralympian was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison on Friday for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

He was originally sentenced to five years, but the State applied for appeal to have it increased. The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, South Africa, agreed with prosecutors that the sentence was “shockingly lenient.” The Supreme Court said that Pistorius “displays a lack of remorse, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions.”

He was handed 15 years for the case, but the time he already spent was credited. He was not present at the hearing. He must serve at least half of the 13 years and five months’ sentence before he could be up for parole. He is being held at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre.

“They feel there has been justice for Reeva,” Steenkamp family lawyer Tania Koen told the Associated Press. “But at the same time, people must realise that people think this is the end of the road for them … the fact is they still live with Reeva’s loss every day.”

The Paralympic champion, who turned 31 on Wednesday, was arrested on Feb. 14, 2013, Valentine’s Day, for killing 29-year-old Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria. He shot her four times through a locked toilet door, claiming he mistook her for an intruder.

A high court judge initially sentenced Pistorius for culpable homicide in 2014. The athlete then served 10 months of the five years’ sentence before he was released and put under house arrest. The State appealed the conviction, with the SCA replacing it with murder in 2016. Pistorius was sentenced to six years for murder on July 6, 2016 by Judge Thokozile Masipa.

The National Prosecuting Authority had appealed the sentence, which was first rejected by Masipa. The prosecutors then filed an appeal to the SCA.