‘Reeva Steenkamp’s murder has left Oscar Pistorius a ruined man’
The High Court in Pretoria sentenced him to 6 years in prison for shooting & killing her in 2013.
PRETORIA - Judge Thokozile Masipa says the murder of Reeva Steenkamp has destroyed the lives and families of two people and left her murderer, Oscar Pistorius, a ruined man.
The High Court in Pretoria sentenced Pistorius to six years in prison for shooting and killing her in 2013.
The Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his initial culpable homicide conviction last year and replaced it with murder.
WATCH: Pistorius handed six years for Steenkamp's murder
Judge Masipa says she carefully considered the evidence of Barry Steenkamp and Reeva's cousin, Kim Martin.
She says Pistorius's life will also never be the same.
Masipa says Pistorius has shown remorse.
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GOOD CANDIDATE FOR REHAB
While handing down the sentence, Masipa emphasised she believed the convicted murderer was a good candidate for rehabilitation.
The judge noted that Pistorius successfully completed programmes while incarcerated for a year.
"This, in my view, is an indication that the accused is a good candidate for rehabilitation and that the other purposes of punishment, though important, ought not to play a dominant role."
Masipa also dismissed evidence that Pistorius was a violent person.
"After the initial challenges the accused had to adjust, he had made progress and was cooperating with prison authorities."
BACK TO PRISON
The convicted murderer has returned to the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria where he'll start serving his six-year sentence.
Masipa handed down sentence this morning, saying the mitigating factors outweigh aggravating ones, which justify deviating from the minimum sentence of 15 years.
Sentencing arguments were heard last month, for a second time, after Pistorius' culpable homicide conviction was overturned.
Pistorius showed no emotion when sentence was handed down today, but his relatives became emotional as he said goodbye with the realisation that he'll be spending up to six years behind bars.
The defence's instructing attorney, Andrew Fawcett, says they respect the court's ruling and will not be appealing.
"Oscar will serve his sentence as handed down by Masipa. I think it's fair under these circumstances."
It's unclear at this Stage whether the state will appeal, in an attempt to secure a longer jail sentence for the former athlete.
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SERIOUSNESS OF THE CRIME
Judge Masipa says the seriousness of Pistorius's crime has not been taken for granted but she believes long term imprisonment will not serve justice.
She made it clear while handing down sentence that Pistorius had made a mistake.
"At the time of the shooting, he was on his stumps. When he discovered his mistake, he put on his prosthetic legs, and using the cricket bat to bash the door, he was able to unlock it and reach the deceased."
At the same time, Masipa said she didn't believe the prescribed 15-year jail term was appropriate.
"I am of the view that a long-term imprisonment will not serve justice. The accused has already served a sentence of 12-month imprisonment, he is a first time offender and he is not likely to reoffend."
Masipa said she was convinced by the defence's case that there are two Oscars: the professional, confident athlete on his prosthetic legs and the vulnerable anxious man on his stumps.