Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in jail
21 October 2014, 11:56
Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years behind bars for culpable homicide after a seven-month trial in the North Gauteng High Court for the death of Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury Pretoria home.
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Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down her sentence shortly after 10:30 on Tuesday morning.
"Count 1, culpable homicide, sentence imposed is maximum of five years."
"I have taken into account the seriousness of the offence, which led to the death of the deceased, the personal circumstances of the accused, and the interests of society.
"I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message. A long sentence would also not be appropriate either as it would lack the element of mercy."
"If sentences are too lenient, the administration of justice will fall into disrepute and people will take law into their own hands," she also said.
"A suspended sentence would not be appropriate in my view," Masipa said.
"The loss of life can't be reversed. Hopefully judgment on sentence will provide some sort of closure for all concerned."
During the trial Steenkamp's parents June and Barry were present on some days, along with family and friends. Barry Steenkamp broke down in court as his niece Kim Martin told the court last week she was Reeva's voice.
Martin was the only Steenkamp family member to take the stand. She said Barry Steenkamp had said he would "lose it" if he had to testify.
Pistorius's sister Aimee and brother Carl gave interviews to television broadcasters CNN and eNCA on Monday, talking about how “very taxing” the last few months have been.
“It’s been a taxing 20 months for us… The landscape of our lives remains forever changed,” Carl said during the interview.