South Africa’s Supreme court of appeal has found Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder in the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The presiding judge, Justice Eric Leach, in his ruling this morning, ordered the original trial judge to impose a harsher sentence.
The minimum sentence for murder is 15 years in prison. Pistorius is currently living under house arrest at his uncle’s home in Pretoria, having been freed from prison after serving less than a year behind bars.
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It is not yet clear whether he will return to prison immediately, or if he will be allowed to remain in correctional supervision until a new sentence is handed down.
Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013, saying that he thought she was an intruder.
Handing down judgment in Bloemfontein, the SCA dismissed the defence argument that Pistorius was acting in self-defence when he shot dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home in February 2013.
“In these circumstances, I have no doubt that in firing those shots the accused must have foreseen that he was gambling with a life,” said Judge Eric Leach, who read out the judgement.“The accused ought to have been found guilty of murder,” he said
He described Steenkamp’s death as “a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions”.