Home >> World

Oscar Pistorius faces 15 years jail for girlfriend's murder

Double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius is set to return to jail. The only question now is over his jail term. It could be 15 years.

Oscar Pistorius faces 15 years jail for girlfriend's murder

Pistorius arrived at a court on Monday for a sentencing hearing after South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal convicted him of murder for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius' trouble with the law started three years ago with the fatal gunshots in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013 and it is likely that the whole story is now nearing its end.

At his 2014 trial, Pistorius was convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter. Pistorious shot dead Steenkamp through a closed toilet door in his home. He later defended himself in the court claiming that he mistook the model for a nighttime intruder hiding in a bathroom, and opened fire with his 9mm pistol in self-defense.

The trial judge accepted some parts of story, and the former Olympian was given a five-year jail sentence based on the judge's ruling that he acted recklessly, but did not fire to kill. After remaining behind bars for a year, Pistorius was released on parole in line with South African procedure and has been living under house arrest at his uncle's mansion since October last year.

But following Pistorius' manslaughter verdict, prosecutors approached the Supreme Court and filed an appeal saying that the former star athlete, a multiple Paralympic champion, should have been found guilty of murder. They argued that Pistorius wanted to kill someone as he shot four times through the door.

In December, a panel of Supreme Court judges agreed with prosecutors and overturned Pistorius' manslaughter conviction, raising it to a more serious murder conviction. Pistorius will now be sentenced for murder.

Supreme Court Justice Lorimer Leach said: "The accused ought to have been found guilty of murder on the basis that he had fired the fatal shots with criminal intent."