Appeals court doubles Oscar Pistorius’s murder sentence

Oscar Pistorius’s prison sentence was more than doubled to 13 years and five months by the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa on Friday, media reports said.

The court upheld a bid by prosecutors to extend what they called a “shockingly lenient” prison term of six years handed out in July 2016, after the Olympic and Paralympic track star was convicted of the murder of 29-year-old girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius has served just over one year of that prison term to date.

Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said 31-year-old Pistorius should have been handed the minimum 15-year murder sentence laid down in South Africa’s guidelines for shooting Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, according to an AP report.

The new sentence for the double-amputee athlete takes into account time served in prison and house arrest.

Pistorius was found guilty of manslaughter in 2014, a lighter verdict than that sought by prosecutors, after he killed Steenkamp, a model, by shooting through a locked bathroom door four times. The former Olympian said he had thought an intruder had entered his upscale Pretoria house in the predawn hours.

But that decision was overturned by South Africa’s Supreme Court and replaced with a murder conviction in 2015. After that ruling, Judge Thokozile Masipa said Pistorius’s regret for killing Steenkamp should be taken into account as he was sentenced to six years.

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