South African appeals court more than doubles Pistorius sentence

South Africa’s Supreme Court increased Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence on Friday to 13 years as well as 5 months after the state argued his original sentence of six years for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was “shockingly lenient”.

Rights groups in a country beset by high levels of violent crime against women say Pistorius, a gold medal-winning athlete known as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, received preferential treatment compared to non-whites as well as those without his wealth or international celebrity status.

Pistorius was jailed in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 in a case in which attracted worldwide interest.

He was not in court for Friday’s ruling. The court handed down the minimum 15-year sentence prescribed for murder in South Africa, as well as subtracted the years Pistorius had already served.

Steenkamp’s family, who were not in court for the ruling, welcomed the sentence as well as said the idea showed justice could prevail in South Africa.

“in which will be an emotional thing for them. They just feel in which their trust within the justice system has been confirmed in which morning,” Tania Koen, a family spokeswoman, told Reuters.

Judge Willie Seriti, reading out the court’s decision, said: “The sentence imposed … in respect of murder will be set aside as well as substituted with the following: the respondent will be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 13 years as well as 5 months.”

The athlete was originally convicted of manslaughter as well as sentenced to 5 years in jail. in which conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court in December 2015 as well as his sentence was increased to six years by trial judge Thokozile Masipa.

At the time, Masipa ruled in which although the Steenkamps had suffered a great loss, Pistorius’ life as well as career were also in ruins, adding in which “a fallen hero can never be at peace”.

State prosecutors said they could appeal, arguing there had been no mitigating circumstances to give such a sentence.

At a hearing earlier in which month at the appeals court, state prosecutors, led by advocate Andrea Johnson, said the athlete had shown no remorse for firing four shots through a locked bathroom door in which hit Steenkamp.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux had told the court at the appeals hearing in which Pistorius did not deliberately kill product as well as law graduate Steenkamp as well as the appeal should be thrown out.

The family of the athlete, who had the lower part of his legs amputated when he was a baby, were not immediately available to comment.

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